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MBABANE – The importation of genetically modified crops into the kingdom remains banned.

This strong statement was issued by Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati when reacting to what the government’s official stance was following the series of applications presented before the Swaziland Environmental Authority (SEA) for evaluation prior to the granting to either grow genetically modified cotton or import GMO maize into the kingdom.

“As a country we have not approved genetically modified crops it is still being canvassed. No one is legally allowed to import GMO’s into the country,” clarified Vilakati.


The minister explained that there was still no law allowing any company or individual to import GMO’s into the country.
He further explained that as far as he was concerned there had to be a legal instrument approved by Parliament before GMO’s could officially be allowed into the kingdom.

It should, however, be mentioned that the minister’s stance on GMO’s comes in the wake of two recent applications currently under review by the SEA prior to granting of approval to commercially plant GMO cotton by Cotton Board, which is an entity led by the same minister who has clarified that GMO’s remain banned in the kingdom.

So far, there has only been an application to trial GMO’s at Malkerns and Big Bend that was granted by the SEA Board on the basis of a recommendation by the National Bio-Safety Advisory Committee whose decision also gets informed by a risk assessment.   
An application to import GMO maize from South Africa has also been recently filed by Premier Foods.  

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