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The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) says it cannot revoke the permits it recently granted to four companies because they were issued according to the requirements of the Biosafety Act.

The NBA recently granted Gatbro, Pick n Pay, Southern National Import and Export Limited and Choppies Superstores permits to import products which may contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The decision was arrived at during a Board meeting following a recommendation from the technical experts from various institutions and the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the NBA. This was after risk assessment was conducted on the products which the companies intend to import.

NBA Chief Executive Officer Mr Lackson Tonga explained that the NBA is a statutory institution mandated by Government to regulate GMOs in the country. He said that the Authority ensures that any genetically modified organism or product of a genetically modified organism intended as food or feed or for processing is imported only after it is subjected to a full risk assessment in accordance with the Biosafety Act.

The Authority ensures that any product of GMO or a product that may contain GMOs undergoes a risk assessment to ensure safety of humans, animals and the environment.

Following calls from some section of the society that the Authority must reverse the permits granted, the NBA would like to state that there is no reasons to revoke the said permits.