The present study was carried out to survey genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods and feeds found in local supermarkets in Namibia. Little is known of the presence and prevalence of GMOs in the local supermarkets or information available on the labelling provided on some. The aim was to verify the presence of GMOâ€™s in the foods and feeds using molecular extraction and screening methodologies. Nine samples (5 food and 3 chicken feed samples) were purposely selected. DNA was extracted from them and they were screened using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of the Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter and the terminator of Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid nopaline synthase gene (NOS) that are commonly found in transgene constructs. Screening results indicated that GMOs were present in the 3 chicken feed samples, absent in 1 food sample, present in 3 food samples and the other 2 food samplesâ€™ results were inconclusive. These results and survey information reveal the extent of GMOs in the food chain in supermarkets in Namibia and highlight the need for regulatory bodies in the food and feed industry to protect consumers from being misled by absence of properly informative labels on genetic modifications.
Keywords: Genetically modified (GM) organism, GM food, GM feed, Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), CaMV35S, NOS terminator, Namibia.