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Old 20-09-2003, 02:32 PM
David Kendra
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September 19, 2003
Crop Biotech Update
Fourteen nations from Southern Africa have come up with common guidelines on
the regulation of genetically modified organisms and other products
resulting from biotechnology. The 14 member states are Angola, Botswana,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique,
Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The guidelines were adopted last month at a Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) meeting and cover areas such as policy development and
regulation of GM crops and GM food, the handling of food aid, and measures
to increase public awareness of biotechnology and biosafety.
The guidelines assert that the region should develop mutual policy and
regulatory systems that are based on either the Cartagena Protocol on
Biosafety, or the African Model Law on Biosafety. The heads of member states
also agreed to develop national biotechnology policies and strategies, and
to increase their efforts to establish national biosafety regulatory
systems. Member states were also urged to commission studies on the
implications of biotechnology for agriculture, the environment, public
health and socio-economics.

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