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GMO crops controversy: NBA, emulate Kenyan lawyers!

GMO crops otherwise known as genetically modified organisms are plants whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering methods and used for agricultural purposes. Their…

GMO crops otherwise known as genetically modified organisms are plants whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering methods and used for agricultural purposes. Their introduction into Nigeria by the government has ignited controversies with various videos trending on social media that is causing unease among Nigerians, some with messages explaining the harmful nature of the crops.

And in the recent past, Kenya banned the crops but it was abruptly suspended!

It’s noteworthy the government agency responsible, the National Biotechnology Research and Development Agency, and its Director General Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, recently at a sensitisation workshop laid emphasis on the safety of GMO crops and called on Nigerians not to panic.

However, as the GMOs continue to generate controversy in the country, it’s necessary that the federal government urgently halt the implementation of these agricultural-engineering-induced crops by constituting a high-powered committee with experts/ professionals to thoroughly investigate the issue.

The effort of the National Assembly House of Representative members in this regard is timely and commendable as they urged the federal government to suspend the introduction of the crops into the country pending the conclusion of a comprehensive investigation.

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA should also put pressure on the government to suspend the use of the GMOs which has raised serious questions over its safety for consumption.

And if the government ignores this call, the NBA should institute legal action against it in order to save us all, just as their counterpart in faraway East Africa, the Law Society of Kenya, the professional association of Lawyers challenged the decision of Kenyan authority on the introduction of GMO crops, they raised concerns about crop safety, and they eventually won the case at the court of appeal.

Additionally, many European countries like, France, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Latvia, Malta, Bulgaria, Luxembourg to mention just a few were all opposed to GMOs and outrightly rejected it!

Therefore, Nigeria has no room for excuses to justify the introduction of GMO in our soil. There is, no doubt Nigeria is blessed and endowed with enormous resources both human and natural across all corners of the regions and does not need any GMOs before we feed!

 

Abdullateef Tanko is the founder of Smile – Face Global Peace Initiative

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