Zambia’s importation of GMOs lacks transparency
It would seem the GMO decision-making process has not been all that inclusive, failing to encourage much needed public participation.
The ability of the public to object to these GMO food imports has been limited: citizens have been expected to physically visit the NBA offices in Lusaka and are then only allowed to view the non-confidential elements of the application dossier. Objections based on scientific analysis, submitted within the 30 day window, are then considered by the NBA scientific advisory board.
The lack of objections does not reflect the wishes of the Zambia public. It instead reflects the inaccessibility and limitations of the public consultation process.
The ZAAB (Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity) has been engaging with the NBA and governing ministry regarding GMOs since 2010. Back then already, major concerns involved unregulated and unlabelled imported food containing GMOs.
The NBA have renewed their commitment to ensure food products are regulated and go through the correct licensing processes.