Biosafety agency says unsafe GMOs will not enter Nigeria

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The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) says it will not allow any unsafe Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that will affect human health and the environment into the country.

The agency’s Director-General, Dr Rufus Egbeba, gave the assurance at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to regulate animal biotechnolgy on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dr. Rufus Ebegba, the Director General/CEO, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA)

Egbeba said the agency was structured to meet national and global needs on safe use of modern biotechnology.

According to him, the fear among Nigerians is not unconnected with trade wars in the biotech sector, particularly in the hydro-chemical sub-sector.

“My coming here is to assure you that the agency has what it takes to ensure that the products of modern biotechnology are safe in our environment and to human health.

“I assure Nigerians that the agency will not allow any GMO that is not safe to our environment and to affect human health.

“Besides, the agency is also interested in the socio-economic benefit of modern biotechnology.

“For crops that are insect resistant, or pest resistant and disease resistant, it means such crops will use less of chemicals,” he said.

The Director-General also disclosed that the agency would soon come out with crops capable of tapping natural nutrients to thrive in drier and swampy regions.

He said that a nation that did not believe in science, technology innovation would not thrive in a new world were green economy was the order of the day adding that the MoU would give the agency and the ministry the opportunity to build a partnership that would enhance food security in the country.

Peace PIAK