ZAMBIA; PF WON’T ALLOW GMOS IMPORTATION – KABIMBA

SUMMARY: "THE Patriotic Front says it will not allow the importation and use of genetically-modified organismsin the country because of the adverse effects they have on the environment and health. PF Secretary-General Wynter Kabimba says Government will not allow the consumption of GMOs from outside the country and the ones manufactured locally. He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during a media breakfast meeting organised by the Alliance for Agro–Ecological Farming and Biodiversity Conservation."

THE Patriotic Front (PF) says it will not allow the importation and use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the country because of the adverse effects they have on the environment and health.

PF Secretary-General Wynter Kabimba says Government will not allow the consumption of GMOs from outside the country and the ones manufactured locally.

He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during a media breakfast meeting organised by the Alliance for Agro–Ecological Farming and Biodiversity Conservation.

Mr Kabimba said the PF Government also wants to protect small scale farmers who contribute significantly to the national food basket.

He said Government will stick to what is contained in the PF manifesto to ensure food security and encouraged Zambians to read the manifesto and understand Government’s programme on agriculture.

Mr Kabimba said the PF emphasises crop-diversification as the best way to promote and enhance food security in the country.

He said Zambia is endowed with vast arable land which can aid crop diversification and urged farmers to take advantage of the situation.

Mr Kabimba also urged experts and scientists in Zambia to collect more information and educate the people about GMOs because there is varying information on GMOs.

“If you ask five people to give you information on GMOs, they will all give you different information,” he said.

Mr Kabimba, however, said the ruling party will set up a policy monitoring and research centre to enhance data collection which will be beneficial to the party and Government.

He said the PF is committed to having a data collection centre, which is going to be competitive among think tanks in the sub-region because the current data collection in the country is poor and uncompetitive.

Meanwhile, Zambia Open University acting dean of students Mwananyanda Mbikusita-Lewanika said research has shown that much of the information about GMOs is not balanced.

“Much of the information only shows what they (pioneers of GMOs) want you to know and not what you want to see,” Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika said.

And Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association secretary general Faustin Vuningoma said Government should not allow the importation of GMOs into the country because this will negatively affect Zambia’s food security in future.

Mr Vuningoma, who commended Government for not allowing the importation of GMOs, said one of the long-term effects of importing GMOs will include pressure on small-scale farmers, who will not afford the cost of crop management.

“The same people who introduced GMOs are now fighting the organisms because of the problems associated with GMOs,” he said.

Green Living Movement director Emmanuel Mutamba accused the multilateral and hi-tech companies that manufacture GMOs of being insensitive to the needs of farmers, saying they are only interested in making profits.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Zambia
AUTHOR: Claver Mutinta
URL: http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=525
DATE: 30.03.2012