By Albert Makendenge
Changes in and around our agricultural environment (prominent among these being climate change and population increase) have demanded and will possibly continue to demand that improvements and modifications that are geared towards enhancing production and productivity be made. Genetic engineering (also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation) which is the modification and manipulation of an organisms’ genes using technology has certainly been at center of these breakthrough improvements. Ever since human kind has been able to play around with the genes of plants and animals, remarkable achievements have been realized in the form of more nutritional and high yielding varieties that are better adapted to new and changing conditions.
Whilst more research is certainly required, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or foods have, for a long time given rise to controversy with some citing environmental, health and nutritional concerns. Whilst some countries, especially European ones like France, Germany and Netherlands, as well as some African nations like Algeria and Madagascar. Zimbabwe has taken a precautionary approach to the adoption of GMOs hence it has not commercialized any GMO varieties.
With the world struggling to come to a consensus of inclusion of genetically modified foods or their exclusion, the choice has seemingly been left to the consumers themselves with laws put in place that demand that the foods be labelled as to whether they been genetically tempered with or not.