Nigeria orders GMOs off the shelves

A demonstration against the Genetically Modified Organisms. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Nigeria has directed South African departmental stores Shoprite and others to withdraw all Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food from their stock.

The directive came following complaints that the managements of the stores had refused to properly label the food.

Nigerians have been complaining that unsuspecting shoppers were buying the items.

Have no fears

The government warned that any outlets selling the items would be shut.

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Director General, Dr Rufus Ebegba, has advised Nigerians to have no fears about the GMO products.

Dr Ebegbain said: “Nigerians do not need to worry, there is no cause for alarm, and the agency will make sure that things are done right in this country.’’

Not tested

“One thing that I want people to understand is that, we are not saying that genetically modified organisms are bad, but to be sure that what we are consuming are safe."

He said the essence of the directive was to ensure that no GMO product that was not tested would find its way into the nation's markets.

“The directive was to all department stores and super stores that are selling genetically modified foods, and not specific ones as reported by the press.

Were certified

“It is to further streamline imported products and to strengthen the fact that Nigeria should not serve as a dumping ground for all kinds of GM foods."

He said that although most genetically modified foods from other countries were certified, agencies in Nigeria must do to its own certification to be double sure.

Dr Ebegba said that experts were working together to make sure that all GMOs in the country were labelled.

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