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‘Malawi ready for GMO tests’

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

MALAWI’S STAPLE CROP—Maize

The Department of Environmental Affairs has said it is ready to monitor and detect any suspected genetically modified organism (GMO) products that may enter into the country.

Deputy Director in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Michael Makonombera, Wednesday said the department has put in place necessary infrastructure and personnel to undertake the exercise.

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Makonombera said GMO products have the potential to adversely affect biodiversity as well as people’s lives.

“We have been talking about GMOs for so long but the capacity of the people was still limited. What we are doing now is to procure some testing equipment and build capacity of personnel in the two main laboratories of this country at Chitedze Station and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar),” he said

He made the remarks during the opening of a two-day capacity building exercise for stakeholders on how best to detect and test any suspected GMOs.

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“The country came up with legal and institutional frameworks through establishment of bio-safety committees, tools, policies and laws,” he said.

The meeting drew participants from Luanar, Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi Bureau of Standards and research stations.

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