Zimbabwe’s National Biotechnology Authority (NBA) on Wednesday opened the country’s first laboratory to test imports for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
The southern African nation has maintained a ban on GMOs citing health concerns.
Officially opening the laboratory, Higher and Tertiary Education,Science and Technology Development deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa said the European Union (EU) funded facility would enhance the biotechnology regulator’s monitoring capacity.
“It is expected that this laboratory will increase the regulatory capacity of the NBA by about 10 percent and that will contribute to the national biosafety framework,” he said.
The projected was funded to the tune of $1 million under the EU’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary project.
NBA chief executive Jonathan Mufandaedza said the laboratory goes a long way in analysing food imports and exports.
“This is a level one biosafety laboratory, the very first in Zimbabwe. We were the only country without a national biosafety reference laboratory. This is very important for the industry, in trade they want to know the biosafety status of food substances and this is one such facility that we can ride on,” he said.