By Emmanuel Elebeke
Abuja—The National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA, has ordered all super stores operators in Nigeria to withdraw all genetically modified products from their shelves within the next seven days or face sanctions from the regulatory body.
Director General of the agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, issued the warning when he met with representatives of super-stores operators in Abuja.
He told them that the warning became imperative because most of the superstores got their supplies from countries that had long adopted the production and sales of GMO foods.
“There is a law in place, we will not want any segment of the society out of ignorance to act in manners that will infringe on the existing law.
‘’The Act establishing the NBMA empowers the agency to regulate the activities of modern biotechnology and the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs,” he pointed out.
He explained that the meeting was aimed at creating awareness among the operators on the Biosafety Regulations guiding the importation of GMO products into the country and warned that the consequences of dealing in sales of GM products after the expiration of the seven days ultimatum would be very dire as the warning was not without legal backing.
Ebegba further noted that the idea that Nigerian laws were not enforced and implemented by government agencies should be completely ruled out because the NBMA would not hesitate to shut down any superstore that contravened the Act.
He called on the operators to formalize their dealings by obtaining the necessary permits.
This is coming, weeks after the Federal Government denied a report in the social media that it planned with Dangote Group to ban genetically modified rice in the country.
The Federal Government had in 2014, signed a $1 billion Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for investment in integrated rice project with Dangote Industries Ltd.