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Despite concerns, Nigeria’s fed govt defends approval of GMO maize

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Despite concerns, Nigeria's fed govt defends approval of GMO maize

 

Nigeria’s National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has defended its approval of TELA Maize, said to be a GMO variety, assuring Nigerians of their safety when consuming despite concerns about impact on long term farming.

Gloria Ogbaki, the Head, Information and Public Relations at NBMA said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

She said the agency’s attention had been drawn to concerns being raised by Nigerians following the approval and launch of TELA maize in the country.

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“NBMA wishes to state that the safety and health of Nigerians are of topmost importance, we will not compromise on this,” she said.

“We take into serious cognisance the concerns of Nigerians because maize is a staple crop which is of great importance to the country.

“NBMA is committed to ensuring transparency, safety and unbiased decision-making concerning genetically modified organisms,” she said.

Ogbaki said that the agency conducted a proper risk assessment and analysis of TELA maize to ensure that it was safe for human consumption.

She said that the risk assessment for TELA maize was thoroughly conducted by experts and scientists from academia and other relevant agencies.

The NBMA information officer said that experts from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, and Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service participated in the certification process.

She further listed the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, National Agricultural Seed Council and some university research centres as part of the process.

“They worked with our internal review process and confirmed that TELA maize meets safety standards.

“We urge Nigerians to remain calm and trust in the rigorous evaluation process. TELA maize has been approved based on scientific evidence, its benefits to farmers are significant,” she said.

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