Controversy Sparks as Biotech Experts Clash Over Genetically Modified Crops at NASS

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Last week, a heated debate ensued in the National Assembly (NASS) over genetically modified crops.

Dr. Philip Njemanze, chairman of the Global Prolife Alliance (GPA), sent a letter to NASS urging for a complete ban on genetically modified foods, labeling them a national threat.

Njemanze’s letter, titled “National Security Threat: Biotech Terrorism Using GMO Seeds,” raised concerns about certain genetically modified foods, alleging that they contain a gene linked to sterilization. He argued that allowing these foods could lead to mass sterilization of Nigerians.

The Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) swiftly responded, dismissing Njemanze’s claims as outdated and lacking scientific evidence.

They emphasized that genetically modified crops undergo rigorous testing before commercial release to ensure safety for human health and the environment.

They also pointed out that GMOs have been consumed safely in many countries for over 25 years.

In a counter letter to NASS, Prof. Sylvia Uzochukwu, president of the BSN, cautioned against misinformation and fearmongering.

Beyond Boders further reports that she highlighted the benefits of genetically modified crops, including increased yield, enhanced pest resistance, improved nutritional content, and economic advantages.

“It is crucial to acknowledge that biotechnology, including genetic modification, has played a pivotal role in enhancing crop productivity and ensuring food security globally. In the context of Nigeria, the adoption of transgenic Cowpea and TELA Maize presents significant advantage that directly contributes to the well-being of our citizens and the overall prosperity of our nation,” she stated.

Uzochukwu emphasized the importance of scientific consensus and responsible regulation in guiding policies related to biotechnology, while urging lawmakers to consider the humanitarian and national implications and support farmers and consumers by embracing science-backed innovations in agriculture.

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