The opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday frowned at President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government issuance of operation licence to Mosanto and its subsidiary to market its agricultural product in the market for commercial use and condemned the action.
The PDP expressed its displeasure in several tweets through its Twitter handle @PdpNigeria, and revealed that the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) had on May 1, 2016 issued licence to the company, authorizing it to place genetically modified cotton on the Nigeria market.
The opposition party revealed that another of the agency also issued licence to MAL, a subsidiary of Mosanto Agriculture Nigeria Limited, authorizing it to commence confined field trials on GMO corn.
While condemning the decision of the federal government, the PDP through its tweets raised concern over the way and manner the federal government agency went about the issuance of operating licence to the controversial US-based agriculture company, whose product, the party said has caused health hazards in both the US and other countries it operates resulting in the ban of Mosanto products in those countries.
The tweets reads, “On May 1, 2016 the National Biosafety Management Agency issued a licence to Mosanto Agriculture Nig. Limited authorising it to place genetically modified cotton on the Nigerian market for commercial use.
“On the same day, NBMA also issued a licence to MAL authorising it to commence Confined Field Trials (CFT) on genetically modified corn (NK603 & MON 89034 x NK603) with Permit No: NBMA/C FT/001.
“MAL is a subsidiary of Mosanto Company, a US based Agriculture Company. It produces genetically modified seeds and crops as well as glyphosate based herbicides.
“We are concerned that the @MBuhari is licencing a company that produces controversial and dangerous crops and products to participate in the agriculture sector in Nigeria to the extent that it issued the licence to the company on a Sunday.
“Furthermore, this company has shown a willingness to participate in corrupt practices in global circles.
“The company the @MBuhari admin is licensing to produce corn for consumption in #NGR was the sole producer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned in 1979 due to its link to birth defects & cancer in lab animals as well as adverse skin & liver effects in humans.
“In May 2016, a St Louis jury awarded damages in the sum of $46.5m against the company for negligence in handling PCBs which caused the plaintiffs to contract non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
“Amongst other things, the jury determined that Mosanto had known that its PCBs were a dangerous health hazard since 1955 but covered that fact up. This is the company the @MBuhari admin has licenced to operate in Nigeria.
“Mosanto is the manufacturer of the herbicide – Round up, a glyphosate based herbicide. In March 2015, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) classified glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen which is “probably” able to cause cancer in humans.
“The Company licenced by the @MBuhari admin also produces the herbicide– Lasso. In 2015, a French Appeals Court upheld the decision of a French Court that found it guilty of the chemical poisoning of a farmer who had used Lasso.
“In May 2015, the European Union (EU) Parliament refrained from taking a vote to extend the licence for the use of “Round up” in Europe.
“In 2005, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DFA) in which Monsanto admitted to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In the case, Mosanto admitted bribing Indonesian govt officials & telling officials to invoice bribes as “Consulting Fees”. Mosanto also admitted to paying bribes to high-ranking Indonesian officials between 1997 & 2002.
“In 2013, Mosanto’s “Round Up Ready Wheat” which was never approved for use by US regulators & which the company said it stopped testing in 2003 was found on farm in Oregon. As result, Japan & South Korea temporarily stopped importing wheat from the US for a period of time.
“In 2015, Burkina Faso announced that it would be phasing out Mosanto’s GM Bt cotton from its fields. In addition, farmers in Burkina Faso are claiming as much as $280m for losses incurred from the company.”