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GMO maize scandal unearthed at Mbare Msika

by Mandla Ndlovu
10 Apr 2024 at 12:08hrs | Views
A scandal of significant proportions has erupted at Mbare Msika, where unscrupulous entities are selling genetically modified (GM) maize without adhering to the necessary regulations. The gravity of this situation cannot be overstated, as the unregulated distribution of GMO maize poses severe risks to both public health and environmental sustainability.

According to regulations governing the distribution of GMO products, GM maize is strictly controlled and should be sent directly to authorized millers for processing. However, reports have surfaced indicating that a dubious company is packaging GMO maize in sacks and selling them directly to consumers at Mbare Msika without milling. This blatant violation of regulations not only threatens food safety but also has the potential to cause a national disaster if left unchecked.

A representative of UNIPRO the company flouting regulations confirmed that GMO maize was available in Ruwa and they were selling it as is without milling it. The representative also confirmed that they were also distributing it in Mbare at a price of $420 per tonne.

Of paramount concern is the possibility that some unsuspecting farmers may purchase these unprocessed GM maize grains and unknowingly plant them. Such an act would not only compromise the integrity of their crop but also lead to contamination of the environment and neighboring fields. The consequences of inadvertent GMO cultivation can be far-reaching and irreversible, with incalculable effects on biodiversity and agricultural practices.

Despite the clear regulations in place to prevent such illicit activities, the National Biotechnology Authority (NBA) stands accused of negligence in monitoring the use and distribution of GMO maize. The authority, tasked with overseeing biotechnology applications in Zimbabwe, is seemingly asleep at the wheel, allowing this illegal trade to thrive and endangering the health and welfare of the population.

The implications of this GM maize scandal extend beyond Mbare Msika, transcending regional boundaries and posing a threat to the entire nation. The potential spread of unprocessed GMO maize grains not only undermines food safety protocols but also jeopardizes the livelihoods of farmers and the sustainability of agricultural practices in Zimbabwe.

Immediate action must be taken to address this critical issue and prevent its escalation into a full-blown national crisis. The NBA must exercise greater vigilance and enforcement measures to curb the illicit trade of GMO maize and hold accountable those responsible for flouting regulations. Public awareness campaigns should also be intensified to educate consumers and farmers about the risks associated with unprocessed GMO maize and promote adherence to regulatory guidelines.

As stakeholders in Zimbabwe's agricultural sector, we cannot afford to overlook the looming threat posed by the unregulated distribution of GMO maize. It is incumbent upon the authorities, farmers, millers, and consumers to work collectively to safeguard food security, environmental integrity, and public health from the perils of illicit GMO trade. Only through decisive and coordinated efforts can we avert the potential national disaster that looms on the horizon.

Source - Byo24News