30 January 2018

Namibia: Lab to Test for GMOs

Windhoek — The National Biotechnology, Testing, Training and Research Laboratory will assist the country to make evidence-based decisions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by screening for GMOs in shelved products.

This will ensure that only approved products are traded in the country, Dr Lisho Mundia, the director of research and innovation in the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, said yesterday.

Mundia urged stakeholders that play a role in the implementation of the biosafety legal framework to support the operations of the laboratory by reporting products that are suspected to contain GMOs to the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.

"GMO testing is crucial to ensure that only GMOs and GMO products that are approved for use in Namibia are indeed on the market. This will curb any illegal dealings in GMOs or GMO products," said Mundia.

The laboratory is designed to cater for testing services and it has a facility for research and training.

"There is misinformation among our communities about GMOs and other biotechnology-based products," said Mundia. This Mundia attributed to a lack of capacity and resources to conduct food safety assessment.

"Namibia will be in a better position to make decisions on the standards of food we produce or import, through an evidence-based approach," Mundia

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