January 29, 2018

Namibia opens first GMO laboratory

Namibia has opened a laboratory for testing food for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) the first in the Southern African country on Monday.

The Higher Education Minister, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, opened the laboratory, designed by the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology in Windhoek.

Kandjii-Murangi said the laboratory would play a crucial role in testing genetically modified products.

He added that “GMO testing is crucial to ensure that only GMOs and GMO products that are approved for use in Namibia are in the market.”

According to Kandjii-Murangi, the laboratory will also play a role in building local capacity through research, producing professors and researchers in the field of biotechnology.

The minister noted that by building local food safety assessment capacity, Namibia would be in a better position to make informed decisions on the standard of food produced or imported through an evidence-based approach.

She further said that Namibia suffered misinformation on GMOs because of the lack of detection capacity and training in biotechnology.

Kandjii-Murangi urged universities, the food industry and pharmacies to utilise the laboratory.