Is FG about to force feed the nation with poison?

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– For a country blessed with soil fertility, arable land and rich in agriculture like Nigeria to even consider introducing GM foods to its food chain is beyond reproach. Nigerian soil is acclaimed the world over as one of the best in the world for crop cultivation

– By definition, according to WHO, GMOs “are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.” They are also commonly called Frankenstein foods

The over-zealousness of the government and the lawmakers in introduction GMO to Nigeria and passing the Biosafety bill into law – which some experts have described as suicidal, is uncalled for in the wake of overwhelming scientific research and findings on the dangers of GMO.

The Nigerian government is certainly delving into what can be termed as ‘the cloud cuckoo land’ because too little is known about GM foods to consider it safe for consumption of Nigerians.

The fact that it is fraught with a lot of criticism as well as controversial should ensure the government thread carefully here.

Notwithstanding, Nigeria is a blessed land with a colossal agricultural potential, and so is the entire African continent. In that regard, should not result to GM foods but invest in agriculture for its people to harness the riches contained in its soil.

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File image of food

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The genetic modified companies have created an industry-generated myth that GMO foods are not only more nutritious with higher yielding but also require less pesticide and herbicides, thus, have better advantages over natural varieties.

However, sustainable natural varieties crop yield increases by 79 percent or higher, while GMOs yield little or not at all.

They also claimed that Africans are starving and/or malnourished, whereas, starvation and malnourishment is not only an African plaque but true for all other continents.

“We must resist all efforts by the Biotech industry to impose their will and re-enslave our farmers through the intellectual property rights which allows the industry to patent their seeds, forcing the farmers to be reliant on them,” Samuel Adeoye told NAIJ.com

Pandering to the desires of the GMO industry when the government ought to prioritise the protection and defend the interests of the citizens of Nigeria is very disappointing to say the least. All the more surprising as there is no Biosafety law in place in Nigeria, with which our biodiversity and environment can be protected.

Endorsements

No consideration of the profound ramification that such move can impact on our agriculture, environment and consequently the people.

Importation and consummation of GMOs are shockingly disappointedly endorsed by two serving ministers – Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ita Ewa and Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina

agriculture

File photo of farm produce

Toxicity

GM foods toxin – Glyphosate, have been found in maternal and fetal blood. It is also linked with other ailments and diseases like breast cancer, autism, Parkingsons and Alzeimers diseases and also birth defects.

Other compounds are also found in genetically modified foods that trigger early puberty and infertility. Nigeria should follow the example of Zambia, who resisted the pressure of being arm-twisted by donor nations.

Dangers

Potential damage to biodiversity, soil organisms, marine ecosystems, water resources pollution, harm to birds and insects, by GMO plants and agricultural practises have been well researched.

According to studies carried out by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) on GM foods, it showed organ damage, gastro intestinal and immune system disorders, including accelerated aging and infertility in lab animals.

Lasting GM contamination is another area of concern due to cross-pollination, which can potentially outlast the effect of nuclear waste and global warming. Dangerous and unpredictable side effects like new toxins, carcinogens and allergens are also said to be created.

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Rural uneducated farmers will also encounter difficulty with labelling of GM/ non GM crops as labelling is very important for consumer information in order to make a conscious choice. How will they label the produce they take to the market?

Dependency on foreign companies that created and control GM foods and agricultural practises is another point of consideration by its introduction.

Conspiracy theorists claim that it can lead to eugenics – modification of crops to encourage sterility of Africans, in line with what the former United States Secretary of State in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, wrote in 2013, “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries”

Agriculture

Minister for Agriculture. Akinwumi Adesina

Ministry of environment reaction

The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has described the concerns raised about GM foods by the public as legitimate, stating that the Federal Ministry of Environment, in conjunction with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) is organising an experts meeting.

The meeting is to clarify Nigeria’s position on GMOs and will involve national agencies, civil society groups, and international organisations, with the sole aim to address all concerns expressed.

“Nigerians should be rest assured of the protection of the protection of their health and environment by the National Biosafety Management agency,” She said.

International standpoint

The United States of America is the largest consumer of GM foods, accounting for 60/70 percent of their processed food and is unable to manage it, where the DNAs of GM foods are found to have been passed to humans that consume them.

Gluten disorder has been connected to GMOs with 18 million Americans suffering from this disorder.

How would Nigeria with far lesser technological nous be able to manage and regulate it efficiently?

Countries like Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and in Africa, Zambia strongly oppose it, out-rightly banning GMOs from entering their country in most cases as most developed countries do not consider them to be safe.

The post Is FG about to force feed the nation with poison? appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read Naij.com 24/7.

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