•GPA calls for ban of GMO seeds as House of Reps seeks investigation


By Bianca Iboma-Emefu



Global Prolife Alliance (GPA) has called on the National Assembly (NASS) to ban genetically modified organisms (GMO) seeds in the country and to invite certain persons to testify before the House Committee on Agriculture.

The Chairman of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), Dr Philip Njemanze, in a press release, welcomed the commencement of the investigations into GMO seeds by the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives.

The GPA called for an outright ban of all GMO seeds in Nigeria, alleging that it is the source of insecurity in Nigeria as the biotechnology vendors of GMO seeds are sponsoring terrorists to kill natural seed farmers.

The group said: “According to the United States Council of Foreign Relations, between 2015-2018, 37,500 farmers were killed. About 32000 or 85% were Muslims, and 5,500 or 15% were Christians’ natural seed growers.

“This dispels any links to Islamic terrorism rather, it shows how the biotechnology companies are the major suspects in the killing of their natural seed competitors.”

The group alleged that some interests introduced electronic wallet cell phones, which used GPS by private army mercenaries to track and kill the natural seed growers in Nigeria.

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“As an interim measure, NASS should pass a resolution to halt all distribution of GMO seeds in Nigeria pending a total ban after the investigations are completed. The announced labelling of GMO products is impractical since roadside markets, which most Nigerians use do not have access to that GMO status information,” GPA said.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government zto suspend the introduction of GMO crops into the country pending the conclusion of a comprehensive investigation.

This follows the adoption of a motion moved by the lawmaker representing the Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency, Kwara State, Muktar Shagaya.

Shagaya, who spoke on the “need to investigate the introduction of genetically modified crops in Nigeria,” said the recent introduction of GM crops in Nigeria has raised serious questions about the “safety, regulatory oversight, and the potential impact on the country’s biosafety and ecosystem.”

He also raised the issue that GMO foods can be created to contain almost anything, “including genes which have higher levels of toxicity and negative long-term effects on human health.”

He further said that “the House is aware that the National Biosafety Management Agency has been accused of approving the introduction of GM crops into Nigeria without following due process and scientific protocols.

“These GM crops are being introduced into Nigeria at a time when the said crops have been banned in several countries like France, Russia, Germany, China, India, and a host of other countries in Europe due to safety concerns.

“Also concerned that GMO crops’ long-term impacts on human health remain uncertain; prompting precautionary measures due to potential health risks including cancer, antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions and reproductive issues.”

The lawmaker said the introduction of GM crops “could have far-reaching implications” on the nation’s “food security, potentially transferring control to foreign biotechnology companies which are primarily driven by profit and cost reduction.”

Following the adoption of the motion, the House called on the Federal Government to “suspend the introduction of new genetically modified crops until an investigation by the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services is completed and the findings are made public.”

The House also urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to “cause the already introduced GM foods and crops in Nigeria to be properly labelled to safeguard consumers.”

The House also directed the Agricultural Production and Services to “conduct a comprehensive investigation into the introduction of GM crops into Nigeria by the National Biosafety Management Agency and assess the potential health and environmental risks associated with genetically modified crops and report back within four weeks.”

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