Issues pertaining to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have continued to be emotive and have been characterised by fear, misinformation and skepticism in general. This could be because some people do not really understand what GMOs are and what the current GMO status in the country is.
The perceptions on GMOs from the general public including some leaders, the learned and the layperson leaves much to be desired. The general public think anything big, or something which has grown out of proportion or has just grown abit different from the usual is a GMO.
Most people still think that GMOs or rather products of GMOs are not allowed in Zambia. On the contrary such (GMO) products are allowed in the country but only when authorized by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) after rigorous risk assessment. Risk assessment is conducted on all GMOs and GMO products to ensure safety of humans, animals and the environment.
The negative perceptions mainly arise due to the rejection of the food aid in 2001/2002 following a severe drought which had threatened the food security of the nation as a result of low agricultural production. The rejection was due to the absence of technical, infrastructure and regulatory capacity in handling products of GMO.