By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) and the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have evolved a strategic partnership aimed at ensuring food safety in the country.
Director General of NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba said in a statement in Abuja that many Nigerians were apprehensive about the quality of food being imported into the country.
He made special reference to imported food with Genetically Modified Organisms’ ingredients (GMOs).
“So, there is the need to work together with relevant bodies and agencies to allay fears and ensure safety of such products to human health,” Dr. Ebegba said.
He stressed the need for synergy between both agencies because it was important for the two organisations to protect Nigerians, environment, and achieved government aim of setting up the agencies.
“We need the cooperation of each other to work in harmony to carryout testing and certification of imported Genetic Modified Food products,’’ he said.
In her remark, representative of NAFDAC Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Mrs. Ummulkhairi Bobboi noted that government and Nigerians would gain immensely if both agencies worked together.
She said that both agencies should adopt proper policies, frameworks, guidelines, rules and regulations to ensure the attainment of their mandates without compromising on the safety standards of GMO foods imported into Nigeria.
The two agencies articulated a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 to facilitate and strengthened their collaboration.
The vast majority of corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets grown in the U.S. are now genetically engineered, and they are often used as ingredients in processed foods.
Health Reporters gathered that the food industry is also pushing to further expand the use of genetic engineering.