Dr Chijioke Osuji, the National President, Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), has called for strengthening of institutional mechanism for evaluating the safety of Genetically Modified (GM) foods in the country.
Osuji, an expert in Agro-Industry Food Value Chains gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the government must ensure that every institutional framework that will ensure the safety of food must be put in place before its implementation.
“For GM, we need to be careful, every other person in the world is being careful because there is a lot of anxiety concerning it in the society.
“Secondly, there are no abundance of evidences of ill effect `yet concerning the products, but in my opinion we need to study it for a longer time to evaluate its safety or otherwise.
“I am saying this because prior before now there was also a lot of anxiety about radiated food (micro-waved foods ) but today the anxiety is no longer there and people now used micro-wave their food.
“We need to study these things for a longer period of time and that calls for stronger institutional mechanisms. Until this is done, I think we should just be very careful of the products,’’ Osuji said.
NAN reports that the debates on GMO products have been causing a lot of doubts on their safety.
The Director-General, the National Agency for Biotechnology Development (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ugbado, had told NAN that locally developed GMOs were not yet in the country as some crops were still undergoing confined texts.
However, some opponent groups have insisted that there is a clear notable lack of capacity in the country to adequately monitor the potential human and environmental risks of GM crops and their associated herbicides, and challenged a public display of all laboratories in Nigeria to evaluate their actual capabilities. (NAN)