A coalition of civil society organisations has condemned the continuous influx of Genetically Modified (GM) crops and products into the country.
The CSOs, comprising of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), GMO- Free Nigeria Alliance, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and Bio-integrity and Natural Food Awareness Initiative, called for a ban on GMOs in the country.
Bearing placards with the inscriptions ‘Nigerians reject GMOs,’ ‘FoodNotPoison,’ Biotech industry hands off our food’, the protesters accused the National Bio-safety Management Agency (NBMA) of illegally granting approvals for the importation of some GM crops.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nnimmo Bassey, said the government should ensure a close surveillance of the borders, markets and farms to stop the illegal entry of GMOs into the country.
He said: “Over the years, the gate has been open for the influx of GM foods and products into the country. We are very concerned about the negative impacts on consumers. It is something the government should pay attention to but it seems the agencies promoting this kind of technology are running without any form control.”
Bassey disclosed that in its recent survey conducted in 10 Nigerian cities, the group could confirm the presence of over 30 imported GMO crops, most of which were cereals and vegetables in our market shelves.
He said while other countries are taking measure in banning these crops, the Nigerian government was bent on introducing more GM crops to the market.