Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has described the recent statement credited to the Health for Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) as unpatriotic and negate the effort of the federal government to ensure safety in the application of modern biotechnology.
HOMEF had accused the agency of complicity in the importation of illegal Genetically Modified (GM) maize into the country by WACOT Limited in October 2017, worth $9.8 million.
The group accused the Biosafety agency of granting permit of GM importation to the same company that tried to smuggle in the illegal GM maize in the first instance, barely two weeks after it announced the seizure of the product.
However, the agency’s Head of Media, Gloria Ogbaki, while responding to the allegation in a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, said that the agency was not established to stop the use of GMOs, but to ensure that it is safe for Nigerians and that it has no adverse effect on human health, plants, animals and the environment.
She said: “The attention of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has been drawn to a series of incisive and unpatriotic statements peddled by the Health for Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) about the agency and its activities.
“While the Agency does not want to banter with HOMEF or any of its kind, it is important to state here that NBMA is a government agency established by law as a regulatory agency to ensure the safe handling and use of modern biotechnology and its products which includes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).”