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Dangers in GMO foods go beyond genetic engineering alone, expert warns



Dangers in GMO foods go beyond genetic engineering alone, expert warns
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A Director at Centre for Food Safety and Agricultural Research (CEFSAR), Prof. Qrisstuberg Amua has warned that the dangers in GMO foods go beyond genetic engineering  alone, but also a way of pumping toxic chemicals into the environment and ultimately on the breakfast tables.

Prof. Amua revealed this at a symposium convened under the theme, “GMO Foods: Unveiling the Landscapes and Debates Beyond the Laboratory,” in Lagos recently to discuss intricate complexities surrounding genetically modified foods.

“There is an emerging situation short of criminality that is pervading the public space with GMO crops. In the context of our discussion, it appears that some persons outside the country have some business interests to push out these GMO products for wealth accumulation. As a centre, we have begun a journey to aggregate the relevant voices in the sector on the dangers of GMO foods.”

While stressing the need for the Government to pay great service to farmers, Former Commissioner of Women Affairs in Anambra State, Honourable Mrs. Bridget Obi stated that, “It’s time we look at our farmers as our greatest asset as a nation. Without the farmers there will be no food or industry. In 2008, during YarAdua’s era, I was a member of the committee on Agriculture and Food Security, where a Vision 2020 plan was developed to make Nigeria great through Agriculture.”

READ ALSO: Another GMO ‘vanity product:’ Bayer to sell gene-edited salad greens in Stores

She however blamed the lack of continuity in Government as an impediment to that plan, which has now degraded badly into accepting dangerous Genetically Modified options from outside our borders.

In her presentation, Dr Joyce Brown stressed that GMOs involve seed monopoly, increased pesticide use, the emergence of super weeds, and monocultures resulting in the loss of biodiversity and nutritional diversity. Restating the need to revisit the seed law in Nigeria, a legal practitioner, Mr Bismarck Akintoye, urged the legislature to undo the laws signed in ignorance. He points out that, “There are laws that allow biotechnology into the country while we are sleeping. We must engage the lawmakers to undo the laws they did as regards the acceptance of GMO foods and crops in the country.”

An agribusiness specialist, restated that the proliferation of GMO seeds was aimed at neo-colonisation of the developing countries.


He expressed, “The discussion on GMOs should have been locked away for three decades because we have been infiltrating our food system for that long. We consider the crops and seeds as agents of colonisation tied to agric-led growth and food security. The thought of having GMO patented seeds as the order of the day should be vehemently opposed and critically looked into before we sign off our food security.”

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