National Biosafety Authority (NBA) registrar Lackson Tonga

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

THE current genetically modified products (GMOs) that are on the Zambian market are safe as they have undergone a risk assessment mechanism, says National Biosafety Authority (NBA) registrar Lackson Tonga.

Mr Tonga said the products underwent risk assessment test through a consultative process which included scientific evaluation by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

He said in a statement that the risk assessment was an essential tool in ensuring safety and health concerns, especially in food products

“It is our business to ensure that any product that may contain or is made from genetically modified organisms on the Zambian market is safe,

“We would also like to re- assure the nation that GMO food products that have been authorised by the NBA on the Zambian market are safe,” Mr Tonga said.

Mr Tonga said the NBA mandate was to regulate the import, export, transit, research and development, use and application involving all GMO products.

And speaking ahead of the World Food Safety Day which falls on June 7, Mr Tonga said the need for safe and quality foods could not be over emphasised.

The first-ever World Food Safety Day, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 and will be celebrated on June 7 2019 under the theme “Food Safety, everyone’s business.”

He said safe and nutritious food was key to sustaining life and promoting good health.

If the food was not safe, he said, it did not only pose a risk to the consumers but also the economy and the health care systems of a nation.

“Food safety is of public health importance and the NBA plays a big role in ensuring the safety of the public, animals and the environment,

“The NBA pledges its commitment to ensure food safety as it regulates the use, application, research, import, export, transit of any products that may contain GMOs,” Mr Tonga said.

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