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December 07, 2011

Concern as GM maize meal floods Tanzania

by Dora Tesha

Flour from genetically-modified maize is on sale around the country, a research by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) has disclosed, with the government saying the maize meal causes no health problems.

GM foods refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biotechnology where plants are modified to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s Office, Mr Sazi Salula, the established DNA type has been confirmed as not having any health side effect.

The research findings have raised questions as to the quality and standard of imported food stuffs.

Mr Salula was speaking as a guest of honour at a stakeholder’s workshop on the Safety Use of Modern Biotechnology in Dar es Salaam. The workshop was aimed at increasing knowledge on the safe management of the modern biotechnology usage.

According to Mr Salula, the effects of the GMOs could be allergy, occurrence of chronic weeds, cancer, drug resistance in treatment of diseases, farmer’s dependence on the sold seeds and other effects which were yet to be established.

He said there was a great need to educate the community on the safe use of modern biotechnology as it was difficult for the country to avoid the impact caused by the states’ interference caused by globalization and illegal importations of such products.

”There is a great need for the community to understand the safety application of the modern biotechnology to avoid its impacts – the results of the research is a wakeup call for each one of us to play their part,” he stressed.

Tanzania Daily News

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