Biotech Updates

Zimbabwe Lifts Ban on GM Corn Imports

February 5, 2020

Zimbabwe has lifted its ban on genetically modified (GM) corn import for the first time in 12 years. The southern African nation has allowed imports of GM corn to avert famine while battling its worst drought in 40 years.

While no official announcement has been made, officials claim that Zimbabwe has previously allowed GM corn imports from South Africa, but the grain is carefully quarantined and milled into cornmeal, a national staple. Currently, cornmeal which is used to make the staple food in Zimbabwe known as sadza, is in short supply across the country. Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst drought and corn harvest is expected to plunge by more than half this season and there is a likely supply deficit of between 800,000 tons and 1 million tons.

Jannie de Villiers, chief executive officer at Grain SA said that Zimbabwe only imports non-GM corn not because of food safety concerns, but due to seed safety concerns. "They do not want to be dependent on seed from multinational companies," de Villiers added.

For more details on this developing story, read the article in

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