GMOs nothing new - Bokomo

The new regulations in the Biosafety Act requires Bokomo Namibia to apply for a permit to import GMO products.

27 December 2018 | Agriculture

Bokomo Namibia is one of the first companies in Namibia to apply for a permit under the Biosafety Act of 2006, in order to import genetically modified maize and fodder into the country.

The application was made on 17 December.

The relevant regulations become effective on 6 February next year, with the primary aim of controlling and regulating the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) within Namibia's borders.

According to Gabriel Badenhorst, Bokomo's chief operating officer, a permit is required for the importation of GMO products. Thus, Bokomo had to place an advert in local newspapers giving the public until 17 January to comment and/or oppose the planned imports.

“Products containing GMOs have been legal in the Namibian market for years, however, the goal of the new regulations is to regulate their presence instead of simply banning them,” Badenhorst said.

According to the regulations, GMO products, or products containing GMOs, must also be labelled.

Currently, all South African imports, as well as those from other countries that contain GMOs, are already labelled.

Consumers have the right to know which products contain genetically modified ingredients.

Badenhorst added that other requirements for the import of these products include that Bokomo applies to the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and that it has an emergency response plan, should GMO maize be spilled during transport.

Badenhorst explained that Bokomo Namibia is the first local company to apply for a permit to import products which contain GMOs.

“The application must be made per commodity, for example, for white maize,” he said.

He said he expected the permit to be approved.

“While it will be a first for Namibia to issue a permit under the new regulations, there are GMOs in the country and it is nothing new to sell products that contain GMOs. This has been happening for years in the country.”

Badenhorst said there is a chance that individuals or organisations opposed to GMOs may lodge their objections to their application, but added: “We trust the biosafety board will approve the application for products, and raw products, which have been in use for years in the country and furthermore, that the basic principles of the Cartagena Protocol will be followed.”

This protocol in an international document that regulates the safe use and transport of GMOs.

According to Badenhorst, there is a real need for these products because locally produced non-GMO products are not readily available or produced in sufficient quantities to meet local demand.

“GMO products have been produced, sold and used in Namibia and South Africa. Most of the maize we import from South Africa is GMO and we get the bulk of our white maize from South Africa. The same applies to products containing soya and yellow maize.

“Namibia only produces 50% of its white maize needs and the remainder is imported from South Africa. Should we close the borders for white maize, a local staple, we would have a food shortage,” Badenhorst explained.



ELIVRA HATTINGH

Similar News

 

SA allays FMD fears

2 days ago - 16 January 2019 | Agriculture

The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in South Africa has had a devastating effect on trade, with neighbouring countries like Namibia suspending imports and the in-transit...

Climate change brings hardship

3 days ago - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda has urged Namibians to be wary of the effects of climate change and not regard them as farfetched and unrealistic,...

What can still be imported from SA

3 days ago - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT The agriculture ministry has provided detailed information to importers and the Namibian public on which animals and animal products may...

Backyard gardens get seeds

3 days ago - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

The Ondangwa urban constituency in the Oshana Region has donated seeds to some of its residents to establish backyard gardens.Last week about 20 homes and...

Dying orchards disturb SPYL

1 week ago - 11 January 2019 | Agriculture

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo has expressed his disappointment over the agriculture ministry terminating the contracts of about 200 workers at 56...

Borders closed due to FMD outbreak in SA

1 week ago - 10 January 2019 | Agriculture

Namibia's borders with South Africa have been closed to all imports and in-transit movements of cloven-hoofed animals and products from the neighbouring country with immediate...

Project in limbo for 40 years

1 week ago - 09 January 2019 | Agriculture

ILENI NANDJATO Decades after a study was conducted by the colonial administration on the eucalyptus trees at Onankali, no commercial...

Planting delayed

1 week ago - 09 January 2019 | Agriculture

RONELLE RADEMEYERFarmers in the Maize Triangle of Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumeb have commenced planting after the area received copious rainfall of between 50 en 60...

Iikunino yepangelo itayi silwa oshipwuyu

1 week ago - 08 January 2019 | Agriculture

ILENI NANDJATOEkutho miilonga ndyoka kuya pehulilo lyomvula ya piti olya etitha iikunino kayi silwe we oshipwiyu niiyimati yi kale owala tayi likolwa ko kaakwashigwana.Omvula yimwe...

State orchards left to die

1 week ago - 07 January 2019 | Agriculture

The ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has terminated the contracts of about 200 workers at 56 state orchards in the north. The dismissals...

Latest News

NDF defies court order

33 minutes ago | Justice

Four days after the Namibian Defence Force was ordered to vacate a Rehoboth shooting range it had illegally occupied in December, the army's locks remain...

Pensioner loses N$400k in scam

33 minutes ago | Crime

A 60-year-old woman at Oshakati has lost N$405 000 in an extortion scam staged by fraudsters pretending to be police officers. The incident happened...

Ramaphosa implicated in corruption allegations

33 minutes ago | Economics

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday called on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to cancel all existing government contracts with Bosasa and institute...

Retail industry records negative growth

33 minutes ago | Economics

The wholesale and retail trade sector in Namibia has recorded various degrees of negative growth for eight consecutive quarters, a policy analyst at the Namibia...

Not a walk in the...

33 minutes ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph Business and economics have always fascinated Danny Meyer, the founder of SMEs Compete.For as long as he can remember, Meyer has always harboured...

New year, new CV

33 minutes ago | Columns

In the modern era, the job market is fast and competitive and opportunities come in a blink of an eye. If you are not ready...

Parents angry about Andimba School...

33 minutes ago | Education

Some parents are accusing the Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Senior Secondary School at Ondangwa of denying grade 12 learners hostel accommodation. They complained to Namibian...

Vote to secure your destiny

33 minutes ago | Columns

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) announced this week it will start conducting supplementary registration for voters in July, ahead of the presidential and National...

Corruption - A social disease

33 minutes ago | Columns

How to create reckoning during the Year of Accountability?This article focuses on options to capitalise on the recently proclaimed ‘Year of Accountability’. Given the fact...

Load More