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Zimbabwe lifts GMO corn import ban to avert famine amid worst drought in 40 years

| | February 7, 2020
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Image: Kate Holt/AusAID
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Zimbabwe has quietly lifted a ban on imports of genetically modified corn for the first time in 12 years as the southern African nation begins to take action to avert what could be its worst famine.

While genetically modified corn imports from South Africa are being allowed, the grain is carefully quarantined and is milled into a corn meal, a national staple, three officials with knowledge of the situation said …. Currently corn meal, used to make the staple food known locally as sadza, is in short supply across the nation.

Zimbabwe is battling its worst drought in 40 years and is in the midst of an economic collapse. That’s left about 8 million people, or more than half the population, in need of food aid.

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The country’s corn harvest is expected to plunge by more than half this season and there is a likely supply deficit of between 800,000 tons and 1 million tons.

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