64 LICENCES ISSUED TO TRANSIT GMO MEALIE MEAL FROM SA TO DRC VIA ZAMBIA
THE National Biosafety Authority-NBA says it granted 64 Certificates to transit Mealie Meal which may contain Genetically Modified Organisms-GMOs from South Africa to Democratic Republic of Congo in 2023.
NBA Chief Executive Officer, Lackson Tonga, further notes that the Authority in 2023 recorded an increase in the number of applications to transit commodities that may contain GMOs.
Tonga highlights that over 750,000 metric tons of mealie meal which may contain GMOs transited Zambia last year, with over 40 companies and individuals applying to undertake the task, indicating an increase of applicants by 10 from 2022.
He adds that in 2023, the Authority also issued 120 Non-Genetically Modified Organism Certificates to companies exporting various commodities.
Tonga has expressed happiness with the compliance levels to the Biosafety Act, noting an what he describes as an impressive response from suppliers and distributors when renewing and applying for new permits to placing on the market products which may contain GMOs.
He however notes that in 2023, two cases of non-compliance to the Biosafety Act were recorded following inspections from two companies out of 16 that were visited.
Tonga says the defaulting entities were cautioned and advised to adhere to the provisions of Act.
Meanwhile, Tonga notes that the Authority, while working with other border agencies in Livingstone and Kazungula, seized 300 bags by 25 kilograms of mealie meal containing GMOs which were placed on the market without prior authorization from the Authority.
He says the matter was taken to court and the trader was fined, with the said products disposed off.