THE government of Zimbabwe has implored scientists and researchers to devise diplomatic and workable approaches in their quest to convince government that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) technologies are safe for human consumption.
The call was made by Deputy minister in the ministry of Science and Technology, Prof Geoffrey Gandawa during the official opening of the 2017 Non Aligned Movement(NAM) Biotechnology workshop in Harare this morning.
The policy is Zimbabwe is that we are anti GMO, let me challenge researchers and scientists here present to come with a better approach when dealing policymakers, politicians and government on this issue and convince them on what researches would have gathered.
“There is a better way to do that, I assure you government will listen to you and GMOs might be adopted. The problem only comes when start your debate from a point which says GMOs are good and government’s position says we are anti GMO. It would appear confrontational if you start your debate from there,” said Gundyanga.
Debate over GMO adoption in the country has been going for over a decade now with government maintaining its strict stance over its adoption, while scientists on the other hand have tried almost every trick up their sleeve to push government over the issue.
University of Zimbabwe Molecular Biologist and Lecturer Prof Christopher Chetsenga however said African governments were misinformed regards GMOs.
Meanwhile, Chetsenga called on other scientists gathered at the workshop to come with a Harare resolution on Bio-technologies and called on government to create a framework whereby a 1% levy on Biotechnology proposal could be pushed into parliament.
“Judging from how successful the health levy has been, I think if government was to at least allocate at least a 1% levy on Biotechnology, it would go a long way in enhancing Bio-technologies in Zimbabwe.”
The workshop will be running throughout this week and has attracted participants from various regional and international countries.