Paul Obi in Abuja
The Association of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (AMLSCN) yesterday cautioned the federal government against accepting the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods in the country as the consequences may affect the nation in the long run.
AMLSCN stated this on Monday at the end of the annual scientific conference in Abuja, stating that the effects of GMO could be severe on the nation’s health care system.
In the communique signed by AMLSCN Chairman, Ndubisi Ebitea; Secretary, Joseph David and PRO, Musa Wazani, the association cautioned against the GMO and its implications for Public Health and called on the Nigeria Government to build capacity of Medical Laboratory Scientists in the detection of GMO and the diagnosis of its impact.
It said: “GMO has its merits, but caution needs to be applied in its acceptability in a society like Nigeria considering our weak institutions and inadequate diagnostic infrastructure for detection of GMO related products, controlling and detecting the consequences of GMO in our society.”
The AMLSCN added: “it is, arguably, believed that GMO could be a solution in resolving world crisis of acute famine especially amongst developing nations.
“However, the long term adverse effects without research, is a source of major concern to the Association, since there has been very little testing and research done on Genetically Modified foods and drugs in Nigeria. This makes many people feel uneasy at the high use of the foods and drugs containing GMO.”
They contended that “some Genetically Modified products are modified using bacteria and viruses, thus there is the fear that there could be an emergence of new diseases, we therefore call on the government and other stakeholders to look critically into this issue of GMO and make provisions for further research and studies for the benefit of mankind.”
The acting Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) Dr. Irabor Tosan said the council has been positioned to tackle quackery in the profession, stressing that, culprits will soon be charged to court.
Tosan pledged that the MLSCN with its collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, trial of quacks will be speedy and swift in order to discourage others in the illicit business.