Food safety and quality
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Focal Point Information

Organization/agency name (Full name):
Ministry of Health
Contact person name:
Rosinah Pitinyane-Modise
Physical full address:
Government Enclave
Phone number:
Fax number:
Country introduction

Botswana is officially known as the Replublic of Botswana, the current head of state is President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama. Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa and it is neighbouring Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola. Formerly known as the Bechunaland Protectorate got independence on the 30th September in 1966 from Britain. The population is 2.5 million and the people of Botswana are called Batswana. Official languages of Botswana are English and Setswana.

Botswana is a middle income country and is higly reliant on diamond export. For many years the country has managed to supply the European market with Beef as cattle farming is one of the key sectors in the country. The tourism industry is also one of the growing sectors in the country.

With regard to GM food safety the country has a Biosafety policy of June 2010. A National Biosafety Draft Bill was completed in 2013 but it could not be passed into law due to a number of issues. Finance is one of the main obstacles, this is because when the Bill is passed into law funding would be required to carry out the activities that fall under the biosafety law. At present GM foods are not allowed, but as there is no law the country is also not able to ensure that GM foods are not entering the country.

Regulatory framework:
My country is in the process in developing a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country does not have a structure for GM food safety assessment.
Supplemental information:
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant:

1. Food Safety Unit and the Food Control Laboratory under the Nutrition and Food Control Division, Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health.

2. Veterinary Laboratory in the Ministry of Agriculture.


3., Genetic Laboratory, Department of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture.

GM food safety assessment guidelines:
My country does not conduct safety assessment of GM food but the country has, or the country is in the process of developing national/regional guidelines that are in line with the Codex Guidelines in conducting safety assessment of GM food.
Conduct of GM food safety assessment:
My country does not regularly conduct food safety assessment of GM food, but has conducted at least once in the past.
Supplemental information on the implementation:
Stacked events
Regulation of stacked events:
There is no regulations in my country on stacked events.
Supplemental information on the stacked events:
Production and trade
GM food/feed production:
My country does not produce any GM food or feed.
GM food/feed imports:
My country may import GM food or feed and there is no authorization process.
Supplemental information on the production and trade:
LLP/AP incidents
LLP/AP incidents:
I do not know if my country has faced any LLP/AP issues in the last 10 years.
Supplemental information on the LLP/AP incidents:
Labelling requirement
Labelling requirement:
My country allows a voluntary and positive/negative labeling on GM food.
Supplemental information on the Labelling requirement:
Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment
Other relevant documents:
Country information last modified: