Nigeria’s Biosafety Agency Says No Deadly GMOs In Circulation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria’s Biosafety Agency Says No Deadly GMOs In Circulation

Posted: Jul 15, 2016 at 6:35 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)



The National Bio-safety Management Agency (NBMA) has warned against the importation of illegal genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into Nigeria.

The agency also affirmed tat there were no dangerous GMOs in the Nigerian market, because it is carrying out its functions as a watchdog of biosafety and biotechnology in the country.

Mr. Rufus Ebegba, director-general of the agency, gave the warning in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the agency was currently monitoring possible GMO suspects in the country and expressed regrets that many importers were taking advantage of the country’s porous borders to bring in illegal genetically modified products, therefore, the agency was collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to stop illegal importation of the products.

According to him, officials of the agency are picking suspected genetically modified products from supermarkets and analysing them to make sure they are not harmful to human health.

“We are presently carrying out survey of possible GMO suspects that have come into the country unofficially.

“We want to know whether they are safe or not.

“The importers of those products, we are going to invite them to check whether they have any permit with the agency.

“The GMOs currently in the markets do not have adverse effects on humans and the environment.

“The media should ensure they give the right information to the public.

“Do not help the rumour mongers to promote wrong information,” Ebegba said.

The director-general called on all institutions, companies and agencies with the intention of dealing in modern biotechnology to establish a biosafety committee to ensure safety.

“The NBMA Act has sufficiently set up guidelines and regulations to govern practices of modern biotechnology in such a manner that will ensure that potential risks are eliminated,

“The Act establishing the agency directs that individuals and institutions found illegally dealing in GMOs would be made to pay a fine of N2.5 million or five years’ jail term.

“No individual or group can protect the people more than the government,” Ebegba said.