National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has warned activists to stop campaigning against genetically modified crops, describing the act as being anti-modern technology in the country.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr. Rose Gidado of the NABDA, said some well-funded non-governmental organisations were funding the activists to raise false claims that GMOs cause cancer and infertility.She cited Home of Mother Earth Foundation, among those campaigning against GMO crops; Green Peace, which is against golden rice that is fortified with vitamin A, and Action Aid, which is campaigning against genetically modified banana.
According to her, they have been engaging in deceit, and had described genetic modifications in many ways such as poison pill, cancer agent, and super weed, which are mere perceptions and baseless.
She said: “The situation is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as activists globally, have been rallying support to discredit government agencies, and institutes from introducing genetic modifications to agriculture.”
She further explained that anti-GMO campaigns was aimed at killing the development and deployment of GMOs, adding that some NGOs were lobbying to stop us from adopting them.
Gidado stressed: “It is obvious that they want to paint the image of modern technology black, and GMO requires science-based facts to ascertain its justification. No one can manipulate it once this is already established by scientists.”She explained that GMOs had passed tests over a long period of time, more than any other crop in the history of agriculture, by regulatory authorities and relevant scientific bodies.She said the crops are safe for humans, animals and the environment.
According to American Medical Association, GMO have been consumed for over 20 years, and there has been no overt consequence on human health, or substantiated in the peers reviewed literature.“Equally, food derived from genetically modifies crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world, with no reported ill effects, or legal cases related to human health.“This is despite many of the consumers coming from the most litigious of countries like the U.S.A,” she said.