THERE is a possibility that Zimbabweans could be eating imported meats mixed with horse or donkey meat because the government has no capacity to conduct DNA tests on these imported products, an official has said.
Food Safety and Control Council Deputy Director Freddie Chinyavanhu made this revelation yesterday while appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Welfare chaired by Murewa North MP David Parirenyatwa.
“On mixed meats, there is no capacity in our laboratories to do tests that can reveal whether the mixtures contain beef, pork or other meats and there is no laboratory that can carry out those DNA tests,” Chinyavanhu said.
“It is very possible people might be eating imported hamburgers of mixed meat from South Africa which could contain horse or donkey meat.”
Food Safety and Port Health deputy director Victor Nyamande said samples had been collected of fish sold at Norton roads and were found to be unfit for consumption.
“The water in the ponds and Lake Chivero is highly contaminated and Norton Town Council and Harare City Council should be enforcing laws to prohibit the sale of such fish,” Nyamande said.
He said the Food Safety and Control Council had no qualms with local meat products.
Chinyavanhu also told the committee that the policy on GMO food was that it was allowed in drought stricken areas, but inspectors accompanied the grain when it went to millers to ensure it did not find itself in seed houses.
On bottled water, Chinyavanhu said several manufacturers had applied for licences to supply spring, purified water or borehole water, but more than 100 water brands were rejected and only 26 licences had been issued to date.
He said laws in urban areas did not allow the sinking of boreholes, but the law had been ignored because of the shortage of water in most cities.