The Director General/CEO of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, has given importers of genetically modified (GM) seeds a seven-day ultimatum to formalise their dealings or risk being shut down.
The DG, who said this at a media conference in Abuja on Thursday, April 5, 2018, noted that there is a current influx of illegal GM products in the country and urged dealers to obtain the necessary biosafety permit from the agency before making such importation. The permit allows the agency carry out risk assessments on GM seeds.
Dr. Ebegba said the agency would not hesitate to prosecute those trading in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their by-products illegally. He noted that the agency was established to ensure that GM products are safe for Nigerians, adding that no product would be allowed into the country without the necessary safety analyses and risk assessments.
He recalled that there had been a meeting where potential importers were familiarised with the procedure to trade GMOs and their by-products.
The DG also stated that GM products in confined field trials would not be released to the market till they are confirmed safe to both human health and the environment.