Biosafety agency tackles anti-GMO campaigners over ‘unpatriotic’ comment

By Idowu Isamotu, Abuja

THE National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), has taken a swipe at anti-Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) campaigners over comments tagged ‘unpatriotic’.

It would be recalled that anti-GMO activists, a non-governmental organization under the aegis of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) at the beginning of February, campaigned against some efforts being made by the agency to attain full security through the application of technology.

Speaking with SAHEL STANDARD in his office in Abuja, the Director General of NBMA, Rufus Ebegba, berated the anti-GMO campaigners for spreading unsubstantiated information to the public and taking the agency as enemy, adding that there is a trade war in the sector.

According to him, “I will always say that there is a trade war in this sector, and why I say that is because we have evidence to believe that. 

“In a situation where those who are opposed to the technology suddenly see us as enemies, why should they see us as enemies?. They don’t even come to us to talk to us, they rather go to the internet and shower out misinformation and create fear in the minds of the people, that is not the best approach to these issues.”

The NBMA boss explained that nothing in life is hundred percent safe, but the agency, as a regulatory body which was established under the law is making every effort not to stop the use of GMOs but to ensure that it is safe for Nigerians.

“Nothing has hundred percent safety, it just depends on how you handle and how you apply such technologies. The issue of GMO whether they are safe or not has always occurred because this is a new field and a new product as a result of modern biotechnology activities,” he said.

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