Zimbabweans have consumed GMOs safely for a decade, contrary to minister’s claims

| | June 2, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A few days ago, NewZimbabwe.com published an article entitled “GMOs remain banned in Zim, Made” in which the Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made told journalists that “production and sale of products containing GMOs remained banned in the country”. As a Zimbabwean academic who has been working on this topic for a number of years, I feel compelled to correct some misconceptions about GMOs that I found in this Minister Made’s position.

Yes, GMOs are banned in Zimbabwe but they are all over our supermarket shelves. Minister Made points out that GMOs are still banned in Zimbabwe. This gives the false impression that GMOs are not consumed in Zimbabwe. However, if you walk into any supermarkets or grocery store in Zimbabwe you will notice that most of the food products are imported from South Africa. Most of these products contain ingredients from GMO crops. To date, not a single case of allergy, illness, cancer or death has been shown to be associated with foods derived from GMOs, despite the fact that they have been consumed by billions of people for nearly two decades.

The ban of GMOs in Zimbabwe seems to apply only to the growing of genetically modified crops. Consequently, we are putting our farmers and food manufacturers at a disadvantage by making them compete with South African imports without allowing them access to the same technologies that lower production costs and maximize yeilds.

Read the full, original article: Zimbabweans Have Been Eating GMOs for a Decade and They Are Safe

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