The regulatory body in charge of reguling biotechnological activities in the country, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has said that it will shut down any superstore it findsseling genetically modified (GM) products after the 7-day warning expires.
This was made known through a statement by Ovuakporie Efe, Head of Press of the agency. The warning was issued by the Director-General of the NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, in a meeting with representatives of super-stores operators last Friday in Abuja.
The warning resulted from complaints from various Nigerians who have noticed these products on shelves of some superstores in the country. The meeeting also becam necessary as many of htese superstores claimed ignorance on the biosafety regulations guiding the importation of GM products into the country.
As such,some of them who havetrade dealings with countries that have long adopted the production and sale of genetically modified foods have put these products on their shelves wothout following the proper procedure.
“There is a law in place. We will not want any segment of the society out of ignorance to act in manners that will infringe on the existing law. The Act establishing the NBMA empowers the agency to regulate the activities of modern biotechnology and the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),” he stated.
The statement also warned that unlike the general belief that Nigerian agencies do not carry out their functions properly, the NBMA would not hesitate to shut down any offending store. As such, he admonished the operators to formalise their dealings by obtaining the necessary permits for future imports of GM products.