Friday, September 30, 2022

Nigeria sets standards for GMOs regulation in Africa: NBMA

“The agency stands to prevent Nigeria from becoming a dumping ground for unregulated genetically modified organisms.”

• April 8, 2022
GMO corn
Genetically modified food used to illustrate the story [Photo: Non-GMO Report]

Rufus Ebegba, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA)’s director-general, says Nigeria sets standards for Africa in regulating genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Mr Ebegba spoke on Thursday in Abuja while welcoming a team of regulators from Ghana’s Biosafety Management Authority who came to understudy NBMA’s success story in biosafety management.

“The agency was not established to stop GMOs but rather to see that whatever results from the technology does not pose a threat to human health, environment, animals and plants,” he explained.

According to Mr Ebegba, GMOs in Nigeria are safe, adding that the agency ensures that they are kept in a safe environment.

“The global economy today is driven by science and technology, and it is timely that Nigeria is keying into it by ensuring that safety measures are put in place for the deployment of the technology,” he further stated. “The government is so proactive to the establishment of NBMA, and by implication, the agency stands to prevent Nigeria from becoming a dumping ground for unregulated genetically modified organisms.”

He also stressed that the collaboration among government agencies, departments, and ministries had been effective, especially in information and teamwork.

Mr Ebegba expressed the need for Ghana to extend the scope of the regulatory framework to capture the new emerging technologies such as gene editing, gene drive, and synthetic biology.

Responding, Emmanuel Marfo, the chairman of Ghana’s Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, commended the activities of NBMA in Nigeria.

“We have toured the facility and seen the activities and are happy with what we have seen,” said Mr Marfo.


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