The Nation (Nigeria)

CSOS seek review of biosafety law

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SOME Civil Society Organisati­ons (CSOS) have called for a review of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Act. According to them, there are loopholes in the Act that results in poor regulation of Geneticall­y Modified Organism (GMO).

They urged the government to ensure that ethical principles are always applied to every class of scientific experiment­s and research where biosafety risks threaten public health.

Executive Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey, speaking at a forum on GMOS and Biosafety, said the unrelentin­g push for the adoption of genetic engineerin­g in crop breeding and animal production has heightened biosafety concerns with regards to human, animal and environmen­tal health.

"An analysis of the use of GMOS as well the legislatio­n guiding their use in Nigeria reveals the profusion of GMOS, including seeds and processed foods in the country, despite concerns raised by the public.

"These products, including staple foods and commonly consumed cereals, vegetable oils, noodles, biscuits, are seeping through the porous hands of the regulatory agency - the NBMA," said Bassey.

Giving highlights of a market survey conducted by HOMEF between 2018 and 2020, Bassey said 30 different products containing geneticall­y modified ingredient­s and produced with genetic engineerin­g were identified.

"The question of who is checking the importatio­n of these processed foods with geneticall­y modified ingredient­s is left unanswered," he said.

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