THE NATIONAL BIOSAFETY GUIDELINES FOR TANZANIA
According to the Minister of State in the Vice President’s office-Environment, the Honourable Mr Ntagazwa, the Biosafety Guidelines are meant to “facilitate the importation and use of GMOs and their products in Tanzania“. Indeed, the Guidelines, which pay a great deal of attention to scientific details, establish a non-legally binding, voluntary framework for the introduction of GMOs into Tanzania. This framework is meant to compliment and mutually support national policies and legislation. The Guidelines also appear to be of a temporary nature in that one of its primary objectives is to “encourage and assist the establishment of an appropriate national regulatory framework”. It is unknown why the Tanzanian government has not chosen to draft legally binding regulations instead of opting for non-binding guidelines.
The Guidelines are made up of 105 pages, comprising of a bundle of measures: non-binding “regulatory” type measures that typify a permitting system for GMOs; extensive measures under the heading “Risk Management” dealing with different types of “containment procedures”; and ten annexes. The document is thus not only voluminous but may be quite intimidating to farmers and ordinary citizens in need of information.
It is beyond the