Advocacy, key to acceptance of genetically modified products
Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, the Director-General, National Agency for Biotechnology Development says sustained advocacy and enlightenment is key to the public acceptability of genetically modified products.
Ogbadu said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said that genetically modified foods and products of biotechnology development had not been given the publicity that it deserved.
“In the area of advocacy, we are truly behind, we admit that we need more advocacies in this area to enlighten the public about this genetically modified products, there is so much ignorance on the part of the public.
“The scientist that is advocating for genetically modified product goes to the same market as the people that are opposed to it, so if we go to the same market, will we want to bring things that are harmful to the system?
“In any case, there is no scientific programme that is embarked upon that is not subjected to high level of scrutiny to ensure safety of the system of that product before it is released.
“That is why we waited for this law, so I can assure you that every proposal or application on any genetically modified product is subjected to a rigorous scrutiny before it is released.’’
She said that people should be assured that any genetically modified food anywhere in the world must have been considered safe before being released into the market.
“As a matter of fact, over three trillion mills produced from genetically modified product have been considered safe and not a single hazardous implication has been recorded.
‘‘We will embark on serious advocacy to educate the public on this issue of genetic modification and I want to add that the products that you have been used to, all of them have been modified.
“There is no genetically modified product that is produced within less than 10 years, you can be sure of the meticulous nature of the application of science to the production system.
The director-general, therefore, called on the populace not to be biased about the genetically modified products because with the growth of the nation’s population “it is the answer to elimination of hunger’’.