Why Nigeria must never accept GMOs, by expert


Dr. Vandana Shiva,

AN international environmentalist and agriculturist, Dr. Vandana Shiva, has raised the alarm over proposed introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into Nigeria and other African countries, with the signing of the Biosafety law, describing it as suicidal.

She warned that the introduction of the crop into Nigeria is another means the GMO originator ‘Mosanto’ and other food corporations from the West want to use to make huge profits out of Africa and enslave farmers at the expense of their well-being. Shiva who disclosed this at a press briefing organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in Abuja, said “Monsanto and other food corporations from the West are out in Africa to make huge profits and enslave African farmers at the expense of their well-being.”

She maintained that GMOs are not the best science and technology for food production and survival of Africans, rather the approach is deadly to the soil and human existence.

Shiva gave examples of the devastation GMOs have caused in India, United States of America and other parts of the world where they have adopted the method in food production.

According to her, many farmers are now indebted to Monsanto, because they owe to get seeds and this has trapped farmers in dependency and debt, and some farmers, out of frustration of huge debts, have committed suicide.

Shiva said: “The pressure on Africa to adopt uniform seed laws such as those promoted under African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is all aimed at seed colonization of Africa and must be resisted. “The same goes with the promotion of GMOs through the weak Bio-safety bills such as the one signed into law in Nigeria in the last week of the previous presidency. “The unrelenting attack on our staple foods, including our cassava, cowpea (beans), corn and banana must be halted.

The planting of genetically modified cotton in Burkina Faso was held up as a great success, yielding bumper harvests and enriching farmers.

Recently, Burkina Faso stopped planting BT. Cotton. What example will they bring up next? Will Nigeria walk into that trap with her eyes open? “While these costly inputs make super-profits for giant corporations, they destroy our soils, and trap our farmers in dependency and debt.

With over 300,000 farmers’ suicides already recorded in India, the harmful nature of this agricultural model is without doubt.” She accused food corporations of failure to deliver on their promises to communities, rather use sugar-coated words to convince and confuse African governments to accept their commodity at the detriment of the health of the soil and human beings who consume them.

The adoption of genetically engineered seeds and organisms, and chemical fertilizers by African nations has been described as suicidal as they do not deliver on any of their promises but rather have yielded a harvest of pains, deprivation and deaths.

Earlier in his speech, Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, said the situation of farmers in Africa, especially Nigeria, was terrible due to various abuses the soil suffers and it has negatively affected their well-being.

Bassey also urged the government to be careful with certain technologies that will not help the agricultural sector, and avoid the devastation done by oil companies on the land and waters of Niger Delta region.

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  • Highflyer

    Stop GMOs from entering Nigeria. The effect is like that of Ebola.

    • must_i_sign_up

      Ebola is a viral infection that kills people. GMO is food that keeps passing the scientific tests out there. Now you might make an argument that these tests are inadequate, but that is another case entirely. But Ebola /= GMO.

      Based on the quantitative data out there & published reports, it is safe to say Monsanto has little to do with farmer suicides in India. Dr. Shiva’s claims are not backed up by the data we have.

      Now Monsanto like other GMO manufacturers is a typical MNC, means they mostly care about profits, and don’t serve our (the public’s) best interests. For this reason, we can reasonably conclude that they require regulation, just like MTN or GLO. Haven’t read the bill yet but if our history is anything to go on, we suck at regulating these multinationals.

      • MarkDonners

        Actually Monsanto’s control of the seeds and the loss of biodiversity and poisoning of their fields so that the farmers are indebted to those seeds they can’t afford is causing the suicides. Monsanto and the other US based Biotech organizations are guilty of genocide, ecocide and terrorism, on a scale far worse than ISIS

        • must_i_sign_up

          Regulation is a serious issue but this manner of dogmatic baseless rhetoric is more damaging than helpful. Farmer suicides in India predate BT Cotton, and suicides are actually reducing. Also BT is relatively successful in India.

          Us ordinary people need to work together to make sure the greed of multinationals like Monsanto is kept in check. We can do this using the truth not lies which can be debunked with minutes of fact checking.

          • MarkDonners

            BT Trait GMO plants are themselves registered pesticides. They are one element of the biotech global atrocities, which not only destroy biodiversity and pollinators but which as food crops definitely cause diseases by attacking the intestinal flora, severely weakening the immune system. Since GMO and the toxic pesticide/herbicide combinations that go with them destroy topsoils, pollinators and biodiversity, the farmers can’t grow anything else in this biotech desert. His option of switching to natural organic heirloom crops which are suited to the local environment and soils is gone, so he becomes a slave to the biotech crooks patented Frankenseeds that he has contracted himself to purchase yearly but can no longer afford. That is why the farmers are committing suicide.

  • MarkDonners

    GMO and its associated lethal pesticides and herbicides are dangerous poisons. Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, “developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.” The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. Everywhere GMO is being grown, food allergies, disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others have been skyrocketing in the human populations.

    There has been a drastic decline of crop-pollinating insects all over the world, and what this means for the future of the world’s food supply. Wild pollinators like bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles are basically disappearing. GMO industrial agricultural practices are causing this insect genocide. Pollinating insects in general, which include a wide range of insects and other animals, are simply vanishing from their normal habitats and foraging areas. That lower diversity and lower abundance of wild insects means less fruits and destruction of the diversity of plants and their fruits worldwide.

    GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

    GMOs increase herbicide use. Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―surviving deadly weed killers. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide. Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

    GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

    By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

    GMOs do NOT increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.

    Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

    The toxins associated with GMO should never be tolerated. NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDE neurotoxins are absolutely the main factor causing the collapse of bee and pollinator populations along with other lethal chemicals, Agent Orange herbicides, glysophate, etc. When these poisons are banned as they were in Europe the bee populations start to recover. GMO neonicotinoids, roundup etc. MUST BE BANNED OUTRIGHT and all the farmers along with USDA, Biotech and chemical companies told to cease and desist from what they are doing.

    An even scarier prospect: the “BT” version of GMO soybeans and corn, (basically pesticides engineered directly into the plant )

    The “BT toxin” gene is put into the DNA of the corn in order for it to manufacture its own toxins that kill pests. The BT gene originated from a soil bacteria that also infiltrates the microflora (friendly digestive bacteria) in your gut. The Bt gene converts the microflora in your intestine into toxin-manufacturing machines.

    So, to be clear, eating GMO corn products can cause your gut (which is primarily responsible for keeping you healthy) to turn into a breeding ground for tiny little pesticide factories inside your body, actively creating toxins which are designed to kill living things. These toxins are found in the blood and are readily transferred across the placenta to developing babies in the womb.

    • Michael Rogers

      The rat study has been discredited. Please do real research instead of the internet and non-expert authors and activists.
      Mass insect deaths linked to GMOs have been discredited.
      Farmers use Roundup as the less toxic alternative to older pesticides.
      People in the third world couldn’t care less about ‘organic’ foods. They want more food.
      It has been proven that interspecies genetic exchange occurs naturally through microbes.
      Please look up neonecotinoids and study pesticides. Roundup is NOT a neonecotinoid.
      Bt is sprayed on crops regularly all over the world to control pest populations in a crop field. When the gene is incorporated into a crop, the protein it manufacturers wards off insects.
      Pesticides have various modes of action that disrupt specific organic functions of specific groups of organisms. The newer the development of the pesticide, the more specific they are to its target. Please read up on different groups of pesticides, their modes of action, and how they are used. I think studying and taking a pesticide applicator licensing exam in your state will give you a decent idea what “pesticides” are.

      At the end of the day, most people that have made their minds will only listen to arguments that support their views and ignore counter arguments. That is also science. I do challenge the anti-science group of people (climate change, GMO, vaccines) to do more research through credible sources. Peer-reviewed journals or people that have read those journal articles. It’s a lot of work. It’s a full time job for these scientists.

      • MarkDonners

        I’m sure you know that the Seralini study, which found serious problems with GMOs in an animal health study, was not in any way “discredited.” What happened is that the biotech industry put enormous pressure on the publisher of the study to retract the study and forced onto the publication a new editor who was a former employee of Monsanto. The study was then “retracted” for no scientific reason and the the publication was widely condemned by a large part of the scientific community for allowing corporate interference with science. The Seralini study has since been republished in another reputable, peer-reviewed journal and it is considered the best long-term feeding study on animals and GMOs that has ever been conducted. Oh, by the way, the study found a whole range of very troubling negative impacts on rats from being fed GMOs over a two year period. Of course, the biotech companies could easily replicate this study if they wanted to prove the safety of GMOs, but they have assiduously avoided such work for over twenty years as they know what the results will be. You certainly sound like you are on the payroll of the biotech companies or have a direct financial benefit from seeing GMOs more widely accepted.

      • MarkDonners


  • Michael Rogers

    This is a crime against the poor and the ever increasing young populations of the third world. The GMO debate is a first world issue where people can afford it. The third world needs all the available technology it can get to rise out of poverty.
    Please read the scientific literatures or ask a scientist in the appropriate field before spreading your beliefs to places where it can actually have massive consequences. The GMO debate, although different in demographic, is essentially the same as the climate change debate. A vast majority of scientists in the fields of genetics, nutrition, and agriculture state that GMOs are safe. It’s the writers, bloggers, activists that do their research online and listening to only each other that promote the anti-GMO (anti-science) views.
    Don’t get me wrong. GMOs need plenty of regulation, and they are HEAVILY regulated.

    Also, the “studies” on the negative effects of GMOs that I have seen have been disproved, discredited, and retracted. But people cling on to the initial outdated reports used to manipulate the public.

    • MarkDonners

      Yes, GMO’s are “regulated” only to funnel more billions into the pockets of the GMO crooks that want to control the global food supply. Those crooks would kill all the children of the world and destroy the future of life on Earth for that criminal profit, It’s a joke that they have altruistic goals. That’s of course their propaganda front to distract the attention of those who oppose them. GMO crops and all the poisons that go with it are agents of massive global environmental destruction. GMO is a crime against all the world.