..HOMEF, others want NASS to move against GMO seeds, products

Digital Products

By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

The Health Of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, and Alliance For Food Sovereignty In Africa have called on the National Assembly to stop further releases of GMO seeds in the country.

They made the call on Wednesday at a media training on preservation of healthy local foods/seeds and promotion of appropriate and supportive food policies held in Abuja.

Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, an environmental, human and food rights advocate lamented the influx of GMO products into saying they are leading causes of deadly diseases.

The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, BFA Food and Health Group, Dr. Jacqueline Ikeotuonye in a paper presentation challenged all the food regulatory agencies that were promoting the use of GMOs to show Nigerians scientific evidence or research based test that proves that GMOs were safe for human consumption.

She said GM corn altered blood biochemistry, damaged organs, and caused potential effects on male fertility. She also attributed high rate of cancer, kidney and liver problems to too much intakes of the genetically modified crops produce people consume.

According to her “The artificial insertion of New genes into the embryonic cells of our basic food crops is inherently disruptive of those cells’ own internal processes of genetic regulations.

“The genetic material (DNA) that is forcibly introduced through genetic engineering is not merely extracted from other living cells, but is generally a wholly artificial construct, including added regulatory and marker sequences from viruses and other organisms. These added components are necessary to overcome living cells’ evolved resistance to unfavorable genetic alterations, and to help identify the minuscule proportion of cells in most experiments that actually express the inserted transgenic traits.

“Partly due to these added components, genetic engineering is associated with very high levels of genome scrambling, disruption, and unusually high mutation rate.

“This is deadlier with far devastating consequences than the consumption of processed foods,” she stated in her paper presentation.

She however, urged media to help change the narrative, saying that food and health is everybody’s business and as such, media must expose the complacency and apathy that allowed the creeping of genetically engineered foods into the system.
She said Africans must look inwards to solve their food system problems.
“We must expand access to other safer and sustainable farming system like agroecology.”

Another speaker at the event, Mrs Hauwa Mustapha said that about 800 million people around the globe are living with
food insecurity, while 25 million Nigerians suffer from poverty as a result of food insecurity.
She also listed other causes to include high cost of fertilizer, poor harvest cause by pests, banditry, cattle encroachment, and poor storage facilities.

Mustapha said farmers need to be engaged, educated, and often given right information especially in sourcing of their seedlings.

She said Nigeria needs to harness adaptation of farmers to help them take best decisions in the farming system especially as it concerns shifting cultivation
“We must not undermine the knowledge of local farmers because they also have information, experience and knowledge we do not have,” she said.

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“This is one huge module!!”

“By Chuks Oyema-Aziken The Health Of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, and Alliance For Food Sovereignty In Africa have called on the National Assembly to stop further releases of GMO seeds…”

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