Agriculture stakeholders warn against dangers of GMO crops

“GMOs are a means of reducing the world’s population and should be discouraged. Several countries have placed a ban on importation of GMO foods."

0

Agriculture, stakeholders, warn against danger, GMO cropsSome agriculture stakeholders have warned against the dangers of proliferation of Genetically Modified (GMO) crops in the country.

The stakeholders made the call at a symposium organised by the Centre for Food Safety and Agricultural Research (CEFSAR) on Tuesday in Lagos.

BRANDPOWER reports that CEFSAR is a Non Governmental Organisation that promotes sustainable agricultural practices.

It carries out researches in collaboration with academic institutions, and promotes investments in the agricultural sector globally.

At the symposium with the theme, “GMO foods: Unveiling the Landscape and debates beyond the Laboratory,” the experts spoke on the threats of GMO foods to human and soil health.

Prof. Qrisstuberg Amua, director at CEFSAR, said the introduction of GMOs to developing countries by the Western world was aimed at depopulating them.

He reiterated that “The dangers in GMO foods go beyond genetic engineering. It is a way of pumping toxic chemicals into the environment and ultimately on the breakfast tables.

“There is an emerging situation short of criminality that is pervading the public space with GMO crops.

“In the context of our discussion, it appears that some persons outside the country have some business interests to push out these GMO products for wealth accumulation.

“And at the same time ensuring an agenda for the depopulation of developing countries.

“As a centre, we have begun a journey to aggregate the relevant voices in the sector on the dangers of GMO foods,“ Amua said.

On his part, Mr Oluwaseyi Ifelaja, an  agribusiness specialist, restated that the proliferation of GMO seeds was aimed at neo-colonisation of the developing countries.

“The discussion on GMOs should have been locked away since three decades ago because we have been having infiltration of  GMOs into our food system for that long.

“We consider GMO crops and seeds  as agents of colonisation tied to agric-led growth and food security.

“Colonisation is wearing a new face and GMO seed is that mask on the face. It is nothing short of colonisation to say what seeds farmers should plant.

“The seed is the beginning of the food system, the minute we lose control of our seed, we have ceded control to whoever provides the seed.

“The thought of having GMO patented seeds as the order of the day should be vehemently opposed and critically looked into before we sign off our food security,” Ifelaja said.

Restating the need to revisit the seed law in Nigeria, a legal practitioner, Mr Bismarck Akintoye, urged the legislature to undo the laws signed in ignorance.

“There are laws that allowed biotechnology into the country while we were sleeping.

“We must engage the lawmakers to  undo the laws they did as regards the acceptance of GMO foods and crops in the country,” Akintoye said.

In addition, Mr Segun Adebayo, an organic farming advocate and an IT expert, said the proliferation of GMO crops must be discouraged.

“GMOs are a means of reducing the world’s population and should be discouraged. Several countries have placed a ban on importation of GMO foods.

“We are not out to demonise GMOs, but to create a balance of knowledge, so people can have a choice on what they eat and the implications.

“GMO food accelerates cancer, and Atratazine is found in many pesticides used to enhance the growth of GMO crops,” said Adebayo.