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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare

ZIMBABWE’S GMO POLICY.

GMO policy in Zimbabwe.
GMO policy in Zimbabwe.

1. Zimbabwe’s phytosanitary laws or the Plant Pests and Disease Act, prohibits the cultivation or importation of GMO seeds and injurious organisms.


However, the law is not adequately enforced, leading to the proliferation of unregistered GMOs and injurious organisms (transgenic terminators) in our food systems, leaving uncertainty as to whether these GMOs are being grown domestically or imported from outside.


2. Generally, the Zimbabwean government opposes feeding local livestock GMO feed, fearing that it could hinder the entry of Zimbabwean meat exports into markets like the UK, EU, UAE and other African countries that prohibit GMOs.


Nevertheless, from what we have discovered over the past few weeks, animals in Zimbabwe are being fed over 30 different GMO strains, some of which are not even licensed in South Africa which is the biggest user of GMOs on the continent.


3. However, during food shortages, the government may grant permission for the importation of GMO food as it did permitting the importation of GMO maize from South Africa in 2020.


4. When the GMOs arrive as grain in the country, the law says that they must be quarantined and milled under government supervision to prevent the deliberate or accidental cultivation, drift, cross pollination and contamination of the national seed-stock.


5. Finally, the milled product must be labeled GMO before being sold on the market.


Currently, we have discovered over 18 stains of cotton and rapeseed GMOs, over and above over 30 strains of maize and soy transgenic (GMO) strains in Innscor’s food and #ProFeeds stock-feeds. Furthermore, we have also found the transgenic terminator gene, glyphosate and 45 GMO strains being sold as food and feed by #Innscor with no labeling on the packaging, which is a patent breach of our nation’s laws.


It appears our government does not have a testing, screening, authorization, rejection or labeling system for GMOs, to ensure that the country is not consuming biological weapons targeting our ethnicity with sterilization agents, RNA disrupters or carcinogens.


This system is critical, considering that Woutor Basson admitted that during apartheid, him and his European backers were trying to invent Kaffir killer foods to reduce African populations in Southern Africa.


With GMOs like the Epicyte spermicide GMO maize existing in the world, allowing untested GMO importation into the country, risks exposing Zimbabweans to food bioweapons.


6. Regulation in Zimbabwe:


In Zimbabwe, GMO oversight falls under the National Biotechnology Authority, governed by an act with the same name. Then there is the Plant Pests and Diseases Act, the Ministry of Trade and Industry may permit their importation when food shortages arise and the Ministry of Health plays a role but it’s not really clear.


My view is that our national GMO (biotechnology) management is lax, exposes Zimbabweans to the risks of biological warfare, health hazards and food insecurity.


At the moment, we believe that transgenic (GMO) seeds may be getting imported and grown outside registered quarantined GMO test centers without government authorization, hence the inexplicable amounts of GMOs in our major suppliers’ products, and this poses a significant threat to our national seed-stock.


South American Case Study:


In the early 1990s in South America, U.S. biotech firms deliberately smuggled GMO soya and maize seeds into Argentina, Brazil and other countries before those countries licensed these seeds.


Once the GMOs got into these countries, they were cultivated by farmers and their pollen drifted and contaminated local seeds, turning them into GMOs. And once that happened, the US government asked the WTO to direct EU countries to test grains from South America at EU ports and to levy a automatic 1% technology-use tax on grains containing any U.S. GMO patented strains.


Zimbabwe and other African nations face similar risks of technology-use taxes, national seed stock contamination and seed sterility through drift and GMO cross-pollination if they don’t manage the proliferation of these GM seeds.


Written by Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM.

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