LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
THE National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has seized products that may contain genetically modified organism (GMOs) worthy over K80,000 from Game stores and Spar supermarket in Lusaka which were being sold without a permit from the Authority.
NBA communications officer, Sandra Lombe said the Authority last week during its spot and compliance checks discovered that the two chain stores were trading in some products, which may contain GMOs that were not granted permits.
In a statement, Ms Lombe said that the Authority was disappointed that despite the stores being aware of the process and procedure on how to import and place on the market products which may contain GMO, they disregarded the Act.
Ms Lombe said that Game stores, which was located at Manda Hill and Cosmopolitan, as well as Spar Superstore located at Twin Palm, Cross Roads, Mumbwa Road and Foxdale, contravened the Biosafety Act as they sold the products without authorization from the NBA.
“Among the food products seized include Kellogs Noodles chicken flavor, Spar Woof dog food of various flavours, Savemor tea and chocolate biscuits, Kellogs Crumbs, Bisto Original, Savemor soya mince and Savemor soups (chili flavor).”
“In some of the affected shops we found that they had removed some products from the shelves after being alerted by their colleagues but we managed to get them from the store rooms. All the products seized shall be destroyed as provided for by the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007,” she said.
Ms Lombe said that the two chain stores had started the application process but had not completed the process, hence they were not allowed to bring in any products that may contain GMOs unless authorized to do so after risk assessment was conducted on the goods intended for importation and subsequent placing on the market.
She said that the Authority would like to reiterate its call on stores and traders to get products which may contain GMOs from the suppliers and distributors who have been granted permits because the products had been assessed.
“We would also like to warn all those intending to bring in products that may contain GMOs that the NBA is not sleeping.
“The Authority will do everything possible to ensure that the Biosafety Act is adhered to. We do not take pleasure in seizing products but we will continue doing so in the interest of the consumers and the environment. We are mandated to ensure that all products that may contain GMOs imported and placed on the market are safe,” she said.