THE National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has granted chain store Choppies Superstores a permit to import products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Choppies Superstores made an application for the importation of products that are made from GMOs or may contain GMOs in May this year.
Among the products the chain store will import and place on the market include Instant Choppies Porridge (three different flavors including Original and Strawberry), Chilli Beef Flavored Soup, Oxtail Flavored Soup, Chakalaka Flavored Soup, Brown Onion Soup and Choppies Corn Flakes.
The NBA Board, during their last meeting held Friday July 6, 2018, approved the application for a permit to import products that may contain GMOs by Choppies Superstores following a recommendation from the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC of the NBA met in June this year, and among other issues, reviewed and considered the Choppies Superstores permit application. The SAC, after conducting a risk assessment, found that the products that Choppies Superstores sought to import did not contain toxins and allergens that might cause harm to the humans, animals and the environment.
In April this year the NBA accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Health, Lusaka City Council and the police swung into action and pounced on the unsuspecting Lake Road and Ibex Choppies Superstores confiscating food products worth over K 21,000 which were brought in the country and placed on the market without obtaining approval from the Authority. The chain store was also directed to withdraw all products containing GMOs from the shelves across the country that were being sold without prior approval from the Authority. The NBA in the presence of Choppies officials and law enforcement agencies destroyed the products which were confiscated from Superstores since they were not subjected to risk assessment, prior to their importation, in order to ascertain their safety as food or feed.