Catholic Medical Practitioners have called on the federal government to legislate, regulate and monitor the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.
While demanding that attention be payed to the labelling of GMO products, they demanded adequate funding for research and development by the GMO regulatory agencies for the nation to derive benefits from the technology.
“But more importantly, to protect our people and environment from the many possible dangers thereto: decreasing food productivity, food gene extermination, corruption of soil ecology, food insecurity and biological imperialism as well as various health hazards on human beings, the environment, animals and plants,” declared the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) in a communique released at the close of its 12th scientific conference and annual general meeting that had “Genetically-Modified Organisms: How Harmful, Harmless or Beneficial?” as the theme.
The event held from Thursday, July 6 to Saturday, July 8, 2017 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The conference called on the government to re-commit to working for all Nigerians, truly developing a national consciousness on shared values.
They also want the government to lead Nigerians to possess, take ownership and protect the nation morally, socially, politically, and economically in a truly independent and progressive manner.
“The protection of lives of everyone, including the unborn Nigerians is a sacred duty for all, especially those in authority,” the medical practitioners noted, calling on the authorities to adequately train the personnel, equip and fund the national agencies mandated to protect the health and lives of citizens, the environment and natural resources.
“In this way, these agencies will not become mere facilitators and local proxy organisations for global businesses and so-called development partners whose underlying targets may be inimical to the strategic interests of Nigeria and her peoples.”
The conference further called on Catholic doctors to engage in health insurance and especially community-based health insurance to help citizens access health care, and for Nigeria to achieve universal health coverage to improve its current low indices.
It also called on all doctors of goodwill to adopt healthier, ethically and culturally adequate approaches in their maternal, child and family health care, rather than the values of the “culture of death”.
The ACMPN also re-committed itself to promote the sanctity of human life, marriage between a man and a woman, natural family planning and NaProTechnology in pursuit of family health and national development.