• The permits are valid for five years.
• They have been granted after risk assessment to ascertain the safety of the products.
• NBA issued over 90 non-GMO certificates to various companies in the first half of 2021.
National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has granted permits to two companies to import products which may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Authority Public Relations Officer Sandra Lombe discloses to Money FM News that the permits valid for five years have been granted after risk assessment to ascertain the safety of the products.
Ms. Lombe stated that the risk assessment ascertained that the products which the companies intend to bring into the country are safe for the humans, animals and the environment.
“The Cold Chain will import Montego Karoo, Montego wuma, Montego classic dog food, Manty and Me dog food, Cats Salmon and Dental sticks while Quick Save will bring in Soya isolate, Topioca Starch and Sausage spices (Chakalaka, Fire boss and Hungarian).”
“The Authority is happy that many importers, suppliers and distributors are complying with the Biosafety Act as evidenced by them following procedures before they bring into the country products which may contain GMOs. The NBA has also conducted risk assessments for two genetically modified pharmaceutical products,” Ms. Lombe said.
She further disclosed that that the Authority has also conducted risk assessments for two genetically modified pharmaceutical products.
And Ms. Lombe said in the first half of 2021, the Authority issued over 90 non-GMO certificates to various companies and individuals intending to export products, from Zambia, requiring certification to confirm that their products are not genetically modified.
She added that the samples collected and tested include maize seed, soya beans, soya meal, soya cake, red and white beans, corn soya blend, cotton seed, fish feed, Sugar beans and whole grain popcorn among others.
“The 94 non-GMO certificates are also a result of the surveillance for random sampling and testing of seeds and products that the NBA has been conducting. The non GMO licenses are also a requirement for some countries hence those exporting need certification of their products. The Authority is the only institution in Zambia mandated to grant non-GMO certification and permits on GMOs and products of GM.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Lombe revealed that the Authority has granted Center for Family Health Research in Zambia, Center for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and University of North Carolina- Global Project Zambia a permit to conduct a joint research on COVID-19.
She said the three year permit applies to a new research study titled “CoVPN 3008 multi-centered, randomized, efficacy study of immediate VS 3 month deferred vaccination with COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in regions with SARS-COV-2 variants of concern”.
“The research will be conducted at four sites in Zambia, Kamwala District Health Centre Research under UNC GPZ, Matero reference clinic, CIDRZ, North Rise- CFRHZ Ndola and Emmasdale – CFRHZ Lusaka,” she stated.