The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Professor. Lucy Ogbadu, has asserted that there is currently no Genetically Modified food or product released for sale in the Nigerian market.
Ogbadu made the assertion in a statement made available to newsmen by the Head, Communications and Protocol of NABDA, Ifeoma Ndefo, in Abuja .
Ogbadu said: “There are only four GM crops currently undergoing field trials in the country and they include the white black-eyed beans known as the Maruca-resistant cow pea (BT cow pea), the Africa bio-fortified Sorghum Nitrogen; Water Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant rice; and the BT Cotton trial.
She noted that the trials were yet to be commercially released and placed on the market stressing that this is in keeping with globally accepted regulatory standards on the release of GMOs for public use in any country of the world.
Ogbadu explained that the National Biotechnology Management Agency is the body with the mandate to regulate and control the practice and deployment of the GM technology in the country opining that safety concerns were germane in any new technology adoption, especially when it had to do with food.
She however added that the concerns raised in the past year were sponsored by anti-GM food crusaders while stating that the cheap blackmail launched in the media by such groups would not deter the agency from ensuring that Nigerians benefited from safe and responsible application of agricultural biotechnology.
According to her, Biotechnology remained one of the most viable solutions to food security and wealth creation for any nation desiring sustainable development and economic growth.”
Ogbadu said NABDA was established in November 2001 following the approval of the Biotechnology Policy by the Federal Government with the mandate to promote, coordinate and deploy cutting-edge biotechnology research, development, processes and products for the wellbeing of the nation.