DANGER: Watch those Genetically Modified foods – Expert
Mr. Rufus Ebegba an environmental expert has raised alarm over the influx of Genetically Modified foods into the country through porous borders, as there was no law to safeguard the lives of the people.
Ebegba raised the alarm at a one day workshop with theme, ‘Stopping the False Nutritional Kite & Understanding the Convention on Biological Diversity’, which was organized by Health Of Mothers Earth Foundation, HOMEF, for small scale farmers.
Ebegba insisted that the country has become a dumping ground for genetically modified foods and organisms and that if there is no law to regulate the inflow of these products, the country will eventually become a dumping ground as it is to other imported products.
Ebegaba said: “Thus Nigeria as a country, is meant to have a foreign policy, the danger is that if there is no law, Nigeria will consume any product that comes into the country, because Nigeria presently, imports agricultural products from countries that manufacture genetic modified foods, like India, Mexico and other countries.
“If Nigeria does not have a law, it means what we are consuming genetic modified organisms, and we cannot ascertain it. The golden rice sold and consumed by Nigerians is genetically modified. And I have said in my presentation that in a place where there is no law, offence is not committed.
“Nigeria will end up becoming a consuming nation of genetically modified organisms or a dumping ground of genetically modified organisms.”
He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the National Bio-safety Management Bill. Saying that this bill will ensure that these imported foods are properly checked and are safe for human consumption. The bill also has sections for penalties for any offender who refuses to follow a particular laid down terms and condition.
“This bill serves as a safety valve in the adoption of the modern biotechnology in the use of the product. If the bill is on ground with regulations in place, Nigeria can use the technology to enhance the economy, generate employment, and also make our farmers have more income.
“Without this bio-safety law in place I see Nigeria having serious problem in the next few years,” he added.