GMO policy needs reviewing: Madzimure
However, Honourable Madzimure said the policy does not make sense because the country is still importing GMO products.
“The fact that we have a policy that does not allow us to grow or to use GMO seeds but at the same time we import a lot of food that is produced under the GMO method. Do you not think that Minister we must now reconsider our policy?
“…Do you not think that we now have to review our policy? The other reason why we should review our policy is that if you look at our productivity levels they have really gone down. But there is no real explanation of why our productivity has gone down.
“…In other countries, productivity is very high because of the GMO they are using. So as Zimbabwe, do you not think it is now the right time for us to reconsider our policy. And also to say why do we have that policy?
Madzimure added that the policy has failed if it is meant to protect people as they are importing GMOs.
“Are we protecting our people? If it is to protect our people, why are we importing the GMO chickens?
“The potatoes that we eat from South African even the Lays potato chips are all GMO products. So Minister, do you not think that it is time we also review so that we move with the rest of the people,” he said.
Govt concurs on GMO policy review
In his response, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi concurred adding that there was justification for reviewing the policy.
“To a certain extent, I agree that we need to evaluate our policy…. There is a lot of credence in some of the arguments that are advanced in terms of productivity like you said.
“Certainly, nobody can argue that in terms of tonnage per hectare of any crop that you produce, GMO crops you get more per hectare than none GMO,” he said.
The minister added that there was need to encourage discussions and debate on the issue.
“I think we are having discussions and what we are encouraging is to continue. The discussions and these discussions are the ones that lead to a policy change,” he said.
Zimbabwe is seeking to ratify the Convention on Harmonisation of Seed Regulatory Framework in SADC.
The convention will see SADC pulling resources together to ensure sufficiency in terms of seed varieties on the open market.