WorldStage Newsonline– The Nigeria Bar Association and the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) have accused the Nigerian government of not taking into account the concerns of local farmers and critical stakeholders in the passing the
Nigerian Biosafety Management Act 2015 into law, saying the contents of the Act lacks the legal safeguards to protect Nigerian
food culture, environment, ecosystems and human health.
A communiqué issued at the end of a one day workshop held in Benin City said the NBM Act was passed into law contrary to the
provisions of the African Union’s Model Law on Biosafety and the Cartagena Protocol.
The communiqué stated that there were several fault-lines in the NBMA Act which required the Act to be urgently reviewed and the GMO permits issued withdrawn.
It said the Nigeria government had been complacent about the covert activities of the biotechnology industry to undermine food sovereignty in Nigeria. According to the communiqué, “That Institutions that are created to protect our
environment and biosafety are actually hand-in-gloves with corporations that are trying to flood our country with exotic and
risky products and merchandise.
“There is inadequate information and awareness on food sovereignty issues in the media thus shutting out critical stakeholders, deepening public ignorance and inhibiting contributions to solutions “There is need for a local and national
paradigm-shift towards food sovereignty based on local contextual considerations,
promotion of small-scale farmers,
pastoralists and fisher-folk which have defined indigenous agriculture based on human rights and sustainable natural resource use.
“Production of GMOs is a threat to our biosafety; poses great threat to human and environment health and severely impedes the attainment of sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty /security.
“Promoters of GMO and their allies have deliberately ignored the importance and the peculiarities of Nigerian culture, environment and agriculture in their aggressive attempts to impose their products and merchandise on Nigeria.