Federal agencies as unwitting pawns in re-colonisation (2)

The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu.

The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu.

FOR example, DDT was lauded as being safe for decades, it turned out to be carcinogenic, Agent Orange, PCBS, Bovine growth hormone and now glyphosate have finally been classified as carcinogenic. Monsanto was fined $1.5 million for bribing an Indonesian official in a bid to avoid environmental impact studies being conducted on its cotton. Furthermore it has been shown that Pro-Gmo lobbyist and reporters are either trained to report positively on GMOs.

Recently, Patrick Moore a GMO lobbyist when speaking about Monsanto herbicides, claimed on national TV: “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.” But when the reporter told him that they had prepared a glass and invited Moore to drink it, he refused, saying “I’m not stupid.”

It would be great if the former President Jonathan that signed the bill, Dr. Adesina Point man for Bio-tech in Nigeria and Prof. Lucy Ogbadu as well as all the senators who sponsored this bill, could relocate to the rural areas where these toxic chemicals will be sprayed and foods will be grown.

They tell us that GMOs are safe yet no test is carried out by the government regulators or the food producers on the effect of their un-natural food products on the end consumers.

Instead we see confusion, as seen below.
“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety” – FDA, “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties” (GMO Policy), Federal Register, Vol. 57, p. 229
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job” – Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Playing God in the Garden,” New York Times Magazine

Instead we see utter irresponsibility as seen below.

“One thing that surprised us is that U.S. regulators rely almost exclusively on information provided by the biotech crop developer, and those data are not published in journals or subjected to peer review… The picture that emerges from our study of U.S. regulation of GM foods is a rubber-stamp ‘approval process’ designed to increase public confidence in, but not ensure the safety of, genetically engineered foods.” – David Schubert, Professor and Head, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute, commenting on a comprehensive peer-reviewed study of U.S. government’s regulation of GMOs.

If our leaders so obviously do not care for the well being of the citizenry or our environment, surely we should be smart enough to avoid the mistakes we made with our oil industry. We have identified the need for a green revolution as a source to not only feed ourselves but also export. Should we not manage and control our supply chain independently, as opposed to surrender our food supply to foreign multinationals whose primary goal is to make us completely dependent on them to eat, through their patent seeds? These genetically modified seeds cannot be replanted, the offspring are either infertile or due to patent right claims by the companies, it is illegal to replant the seeds (replanted seeds also yield a dismally poor harvest). This then locks the farmer into dependency on these foreign-biotech companies for seed every year. In doing this, a primary input of agriculture which exists abundantly is now monopolised and commoditised.

The demand for natural pure foods is at an all time high; people are looking for a healthy lifestyle to stem the sicknesses that have been introduced into society by corporations that put the dollar above the well being of the consumer, Mcdonald stores are shutting down all over America due to a decline in demand while natural food stores are expanding. Is it not foolishness to trade our natural healthy foods for Lab made foods? Especially with the huge potential for exports.

Furthermore, Nigerian agricultural products would not be accepted into most of Europe due to Europe’s anti-GMO stance, this means Nigeria will be locked into a trade/export relationship with USA, which already produces more than enough food.

It is very ironic that the six of the eight countries supporting the agric G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition initiative, have strict rules against GMOs and the companies that proffer them in their respective countries. It is also ironic that this alliance has been widely criticised as a new wave of colonialism in Africa because it favours big international agri-business at the detriment of small holder farmers.

Monday, August 24, as I write this, The German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidit announced that in addition to its existing bans on GMO cultivation, it will make use of the “Opt-out” rules to stop GMO crop cultivation even if varieties are approved by the EU.
In the words of the Russian Prime minister, Medvedev
“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,”

President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia in his speech at the State Opening of the National Assembly for the 2015 legislative year said “(Gambia) will never accept GM food”. “I must emphasize here that despite our obsession with becoming a major food exporter after 2016, we will never accept genetically Modified Organisms in our agriculture. The Gambia is strictly maintaining organic agriculture for both our consumption and export.”

We are the giants of Africa not a toxic dump; we are Nigerians not test subjects; we voted for change in the hope of replacing a political class that had come to see themselves as gods and believed it is in their right to impose unnatural foods on us as well as use the Nigerian populace as lab rats. I hope to see in due course the value and well being of the Nigerian citizens placed above dollar interest of a few selfish individuals.


• Rhodes-Vivour wrote from Lagos.

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1 Comment

    Africa(ns) with all our professors ,we are not better than an experimental grounds,GOD alone can help us