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Regulatory oversight of GMOs meets safety standards, says NBMA

By Our Reporter

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has assured all Nigerians that its regulatory oversight of GMOs meets strict safety standards and poses no adverse risk to health or the environment.

The agency made the statement as the House of Representative Committee on Agricultural Production and Services investigates GMOs in Nigeria.

The agency reiterated its readiness to cooperate with the National Assemmbly in this regard through a provision of relevant information to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and accountability in the discharge of its mandate and responsibilities.

In a statement made available to NatureNews on Monday, NBMA says it continuously striving to improve its processes and adapt to new scientific developments.

”We remain open to feedbak and are committed to enhancing our regulatory framework to serve the interest of Nigerins better,” the agency declared.

The statement signed by the Head Information and Communications NBMA, Gloria Ogbaki, noted that pursuant to the NBMA’s Act, any GMO developed or introduced in Nigeria usually undergoe a comprehensive safety assessment before it is approved for use in the country.

The comprehensive assessment, according to the statement, involved scientific evaluations conducted by experts in various relevant field, including but not limited to public health molecular biology, ecology and toxicology.

The safety assessment review at the NBMA is done by the agency’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Both consisted of experts from the various relevant agencies and academia such as NAFDAC, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service (NAQS), Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), universities, research institutions among others.

In addition, the agency noted that it regularly engages with stakeholders, including farmers, reserachers, civil society organisations, and the public, to provide information and address concerns regarding GMO’s.

On the safety standard, ‘NBMA explained that it operates with the same regulatory rigour and standard as other leading international biosafety agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Australia’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulataor, and African Regulatory Agencies such as the National Biosafety Authority in both Ghana and Kenya.”

The NBMA assured all Nigerians that it remains dedicated to its mandate of safeguarding the health and environment integrity of Nigeria.

It urged Nigerians to stay informed and engage with NBMA activities towards harnessing benefits of modern biotechnology.


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