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Zimbabwe to import GMO maize

10 Feb 2020 at 07:21hrs | Views
Zimbabwe finally has a solution to the maize shortage which had created room for roller meal to be diverted to the black market at exorbitant prices. Zimbabwe faces a maize supply deficit of between 8000 000MT to a Million MT. Where demand is high prices skyrocket in response to demand and supply. The maize deficit has prompted the government to lift a ban on Genetically Modified maize.

International media houses reported that Zimbabwe has quietly lifted a ban on imports of genetically modified corn for the first time in 12 years as the nation begins to take action to avert what could be its worst famine.

While genetically modified corn imports from South Africa are being allowed, the grain is carefully quarantined and is milled into mealie meal.

Zimbabwe is battling its worst drought in 40 years. The government is faced with a predicament to either allow the importation of GMO or let people starve, the government has opted to allow GMOs into the country.

 What are GMOs?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism. Currently, available GM foods stem mostly from plants. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to improve yield, through the introduction of resistance to plant diseases or of increased tolerance of herbicides.

 The health risk factor

All GM foods are assessed before being allowed on the market, they are assessed online with the FAO/WHO Codex guidelines which exist for risk analysis of GM food.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration Agency in the United States of America released a February 2020 statement in which the agency says it is not aware of any valid scientific information showing that foods derived from genetically engineered plants, as a class of foods, differ from other foods in any meaningful way. The American agency said GE (genetically engineered) foods don't present greater safety concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding," it said. This dispelled the myth that GMO food is dangerous to human health.

The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all declared that there are no good evidence GMOs are unsafe. Hundreds of studies back up that conclusion. But many of us don't trust these assurances. We are stuck on the notion that GMOs are unhealthy and bad for us. We're drawn to skeptics who say that there's more to the story, that some studies have found risks associated with GMOs.

 The evidence presented in the case against GMOs is largely inconclusive and not factual.

While it is true that the GMO issue is complicated, it is in no way a health hazard. The deeper you dig into the anti-GMO evidence, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs.

The evidence presented against GMOs is full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies.

Over 300 scientists in the United States alone have signed off on GMOs approving them for human consumption. The Federal agencies in the US have approved GMOs after careful research to ensure that the American public is safe.

The World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO have also signed off on GMOs.

Zimbabwe needs every supply of maize that it can get to ensure that the people do not starve.

Naysayers will criticize the government, Prophets of doom will spread conspiracy theories but the fact remains that in most developed countries people are consuming GMOs and they are still alive contrary to the anti-GMO conspiracy theories.

Source - Mandla Ndlovu
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