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Zambian Ministries Address Allegations of GMO Maize Importation 

The Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa MP, along with his Defence counterpart, Hon. Ambrose Lufuma MP, conducted a visit to the Chongwe Zambia National Service (ZNS) Milling Plant to address concerns surrounding the importation of Genetically Modified Maize (GMO) and its alleged use in locally consumed mealie meal.  

Government, through the Ministry of Defence, has entered into a special arrangement with South African private milling companies to import Genetically Modified Maize (GMO). 

The GMO maize is specifically processed into mealie meal intended for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market. This decision was made in response to the observed increase in the demand for local mealie meal, which was being smuggled into neighboring countries. 

The Minister of Defence assured citizens that mealie meal supplied within the country is non-GMO. He dispelled fears surrounding the consumption of locally produced mealie meal and emphasized that the Zambia National Service (ZNS) was chosen to produce and supply mealie meal across the country due to its strategic milling points. 

ZNS milling plants in Mpika and Monze were reported to produce 240 tonnes of mealie meal per day, while the Chongwe plant has a capacity of producing 40 tonnes per day. This production capacity positions ZNS to supply affordable mealie meal throughout the country. 

Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Defence to take measures to control the smuggling of mealie meal across different parts of the country, addressing concerns about local mealie meal being diverted to other markets. 

The Defence Minister noted the accusations circulating about the government selling GMO mealie meal but clarified that the domestically supplied mealie meal is non-GMO, reiterating that the country has laws and regulations in place to ensure the safety of food products. 

In response to the seriousness of the claims, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Information and Media will undertake a joint tour to the Kazungula border post. 

This initiative aims to provide transparency and factual information about the importation and processing of GMO maize and refute any misinformation circulating in the public domain.

The Minister of Information and Media, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, urged political players to refrain from spreading propaganda and misinforming the public. He emphasized the need for a fact-finding mission to establish the truth on the matter.

This joint effort by the Ministries of Defence and Information and Media seeks to reassure the public and dispel any concerns regarding the use of GMO maize in locally consumed mealie meal, ensuring transparency and accountability in the nation’s food supply chain.

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