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Namibia opens first GMO laboratory

Namibia on Monday, January 29, 2018 opened a laboratory for testing food for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), which is said to be the first in the Southern African country.

Itah Kandjii-Murangi

Namibian Higher Education, Training and Innovation Minister, Itah Kandjii-Murangi

The Higher Education, Training and Innovation 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: “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.

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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.

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