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Group Calls for Urgent Review of NBMA Act 2015

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As the need to caution the promotion of Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) gains in Nigeria, Groups on the platform of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) have called for an urgent review of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), 2015 Act in order, to preserve biosafety in Nigeria.

Briefing Newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the group said “the review was necessary with regards to access to information, public consultation and participation, liability and redress, labelling and the right to know as well as appeals and reviews and conflicts of interest”

HOMEF Director, Nnimmo Bassey and AFSA Chairperson, Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje said “we reprise our call for an investigation of the process by which the NBMA issues out permits for dealings with GMOs”

“We reiterate our call for a repeal of the act and a ban on GMOs. Nigerians should not be used as pawns and guinea pigs, in a commercial gambit to open the country to toxic technologies in furtherance of blatant commercial interest”.

They maintained that a faulty regulatory apparatus perpetually in bed with promoters of modern agricultural biotechnology has no chance of ensuring sufficient safeguards for the people and the environment.

The Group maintained that “NBMA approves nearly every application brought to it without due consideration of the impact of proposed activities or concerns raised by the public”

“A glaring case of concern is the approval of importation of GM maize by WACOT Ltd just a few weeks after the company had tried to smuggle the crops in, it stated. Adding that the law was blatantly disregarded in this case as it requires that a minimum of 270days be given before any application is approved to allow for proper impact assessment”.

The Group further alleged that the National Administration for Food , Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) that ought to provide clearance before such foods are imported has decided to bury its head in the sand and has blatantly refused to respond to enquiries made as to whether they discharged their duty with regard to WACOT imbrioglo.

They maintained that the threats posed by these crops grow with the advances in the technology and the impact of GMOs on health, environment and socio economic wellbeing of the people stares us in the face.

The group recalled that only recently in the United States of America, Mosanto was ordered to pay $289m in damages to Dewayne Johnson after a jury found that the company’s roundup weed killer caused him cancer.

 



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