This paper looks at the regulation of biotechnology in Zimbabwe. It argues that key uncertainties in biosafety debates are context specific; this means that locally-developed, flexible regulatory systems are more appropriate than the standardised, internationally harmonised, solely science-based forms of risk-assessment often advocated for developing countries. The paper begins with a brief examination of the development of regulatory institutions in Zimbabwe. It then looks at biosafety regulation in practice through two case studies, field testing of GM maize and cotton, and safety assessment of GM food aid imports. A final section moves to consider the limitations of the existing regulatory process and identifies challenges that exist for effective regulation in a small, agriculture-dependant country such as Zimbabwe.
IDS Working Paper 190, Biotechnology Policy Series 9. Brighton, UK: IDS. ISBN 1 85864 494 1, 31 pp.