NGOs urge Buhari not to sign NBMA amendment bill
Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and over 40 Non-Governmental Organisations have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reject signing into law the recently passed bill to amend the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015.
The coalition, therefore, called on the President to instead ban gene drives on synthetic biology and first generation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
In a statement, they noted that aspects of modern biotechnology referred in the bill include gene drives/gene editing and synthetic biology known to pose serious risks to global biodiversity and will harm the economy, health, food and ecosystems.
Director, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey said gene drive was a genetic engineering tool used to force artificial genetic changes through entire populations of animals, insects and plants.
“Until a global agreement is reached on this, any new framework enabling new gene-edited changes will also have the effect of creating loopholes,” he stated.
Coordinator, GMO-Free Nigeria Alliance, Gbadebo Rhode-Vivour said there are great implications for local economies and biodiversity, as natural/locally made products will be replaced with synthetic ones and markets will be concentrated in the hands of corporations, thus increasing corporate control over product processes and destroying local livelihoods.
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