GMO foods will not enter Nigeria in 3 years – NBMA

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According to reports, the Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, has disclosed that Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food would not enter Nigerian market in the next three years adding that there might be GMO suspected food like maize, cotton and soya beans that have been officially released in the international market.

An undated handout photofrom they International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) shows genetically-modified "golden rice." (AFP/IRRI)

He maintained that the agency carried out a survey and discovered the absence of GMO food in the country stressing that the ones released globally have been certified safe.

While noting that no GM rice has been commercially released anywhere in the world, he recalled that the federal government has banned the importation of rice adding that there are no indication that the ban has been lifted.

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This is coming on the heels of an online report that Dangote Group is partnering with Federal Government for the importation and sales of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) rice.

To this end, he stated that no Genetically Modified rice has either been imported or released officially into Nigeria saying that all foods are produced using conventional method.

Recall that a statement by the Dangote Group revealed that the said FARO 44 rice seeds distributed to farmers during the Outgrower Scheme was sourced from Africa Rice and certified by the National Agricultural Seeds Council.

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Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the DG described the report as falsehood and a product of the writer’s imagination that probably used a fake name.

He said since Nigeria is not insulated in the global economic situation that it is the responsibility of Nigerians and media to join hands with the government by ensuring that information is properly disseminated.

Ebegba enjoined Nigerians to disregard the post and collaborate with the agency in its quest to ensure safety in the practice of modern biotechnology in Nigeria in line with global best practices.

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He reiterated that the agency is capable of regulating all GM products in Nigeria and would not compromise its mandate.

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