The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has trained 14 Inspectors to help execute the Authority’s mandate and monitor the inflow of products that may contain GMOs at ports of entry.
The training which was held in Lusaka at Mika Hotel, last week, was aimed at equipping the officers with the Authority’s mandate and matters related to GMOs.
The Inspectors, who are from the Ministry of Health, will enforce the provisions of the Biosafety Act together with the provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and the Public Health Act.
The Inspectors based at the critical ports of entry will help beef up the inspectorate wing of the NBA. The Health Inspectors came from Kazungula, Katima Mulilo, Kasumbalesa, Nakonde, Chanida, Mwami, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula, Victoria Falls, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
NBA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lackson Tonga, during the official opening of the training said the role of the inspectors at the ports of entry was critical in executing the NBA mandate.
“Your role in executing the NBA mandate is crucial. You are based at the entry ports where products of GMOs pass. You will have to ensure that such products coming in the country have prior authorisation by the NBA before they enter the country so that we ensure the safety of the humans, animals and the environment,” Mr Tonga told the ports of entry Health Inspectors.
“It is important that you ensure that there is no illegal entry of any GMO products into the country. All products that must enter the country must have a permit to import. Whilst inland products must have permits to place on the market. For transiting products there is need for the entry and exit ports to communicate effectively and ensure that such products have indeed left the country.”
MoH Chief Environmental Health Officer, Doreen Sakala, said it was important that the ports of entry Health Inspectors understood their role and adhered to the provisions of the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007.
Mrs Sakala said the training was key for the Inspectors as it provided knowledge for them to critically understand how they will operate.