ISLAMABAD-Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema on Wednesday said the government would never allow import of anything that had been banned abroad for being dangerous for human health and had environmental hazards.
“Import of genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds of soyabean was banned into the country due to its negative impact on human health and environment,” said the minister at while briefing the National Assembly’s standing committee of food security. He said health protection, safety and security of the people in the country was prime objective of the government.
The import of GMO soyabean seed was banned since 2019. Pakistan Customs had recently confiscated nine (9) ships that were illegally carrying the commodity for producing oil and poultry feed to supply to local poultry industry, he commented in a meeting. He argued that the Custom Intelligence had seized these consignments because it was considered to be a major cause of cancer spread. The minister told the meeting that the Department of Plant Protection and Ministry of National Food Security were consensually operating in accordance with the rules and regulations and accordingly they did not allow the import of any banned item.
The chairman of the committee Rao Muhammad Ajmal said that aim of the meeting was to find out solution faced to local poultry industry in order to provide chicken and eggs to local consumers on affordable rates. Committee also witnessed exchange of harsh comments between chairman standing committee Rao Ajmal and Minister Tariq Bashir. “I am not advocate of anyone. Poultry industry has been on the verge of destruction. My 10 poultry-farms out of 12, have been closed,” said the chairman. The standing committee session adjourned after exchange of harsh words between importers representative and the federal minister. The meeting was attended by the Members of National Assembly (MNAs) including Muhammad Raza Maneka, Chaudhry Faqir Ahmad, Syed Javed Ali Shah Jillani and Kamal Uddin.