GMO ban to stay in place – minister

GMO ban to stay in place – minister

By Kuda Chideme, HARARE, March 16 (The Source) – The uncertainty surrounding the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on human health and the environment makes it imperative for Zimbabwe to be cautious and keep them out of the food and feed chains, agriculture minister Joseph Made said on Monday.

Zimbabwe maintains a ban on the importation of GMOs, including seeds, which are cheaper than organic crops which it says are a threat to health and national food security.

“Genetic modification is a relatively new technology and it is difficult to tell what the long term effects would be from eating foods produced from GM crops,” Made told a parliamentary committee on science and technology.

“Most developing countries do not have the means to produce GM foods or monitor their impact on the environment.”

Made said introducing GMOs would create pesticide resistant crops which would force conventional crop growers to turn to more toxic pesticides.

“Zimbabwe continues to achieve high genetic yields of crops using conventional crop improvement and it is important to invest in key agricultural drivers (inputs, irrigation and mechanization) for increased productivity and production using the currently available genetics,” he said.

Most African countries continue to maintain a cautious approach towards GMOs, with only South Africa embracing them.