Zambia: Debate on biosafety, biotechnology has exposed knowledge gap on GMOs – NGO
A Zambian non-governmental organisation (NGO), Dziwa Science and Technology Trust (DSaT), has observed that the debates on the national biosafety and biotechnology policies, have exposed some knowledge gap on issues surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Its Chief Executive Officer, Veronica Mwaba made the observation in a statement made available to ASHENEWS on Saturday.
The Trust is championing the use of science and technology in Zambia.
According to Mwaba, about 10 countries have settled for the GMO technology and research has shown that GMOs are a reality in Africa.
While reiterating the need for Zambia to bring key stakeholders under one platform to debate on matters of biotechnology, the DSaT CEO also implored Zambia government to make deliberate efforts and build capacity in journalists who are key communicators, to interrogate scientific papers.
“Media should be equipped with knowledge, especially on complex matters surrounding the GMOs.
“It is the desire of DSaT to have journalists skilled in science communication so that they can effectively communicate more on GMO among other scientific matters for the good of stakeholders and policy makers,” Mwaba states.
She urged all interest groups on the current debate on biosafety and biotechnology draft policy, in order to have meaningful discourse on GMOs, adding that key actors should debate from informed perspective that is backed up with scientific evidence.
“Overall, there is need to build capacity in the media to report on modern biotechnology. The media will assist in bridging the information gap that is associated with GMOs.
“Heightened sensitisation on GMOs allows policy and society to make informed choices to select what could work for the country or individuals. Evidence-based science that benefits society is the way to go and should not be nicked with misinformation,” Ms. Mwaba further said.