The National Biotechnology Development Agency has said that genetically modified beans will be available in commercial quantity across Nigerian markets by 2019. There has been outcry against the genetically modified organisms across the world. The anti- MO activists say the GM crops and animals would be injurious to human health. But GMO advocates are disputing this, saying it will only ensure food security. At the November edition of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Abuja, the NABDA Director General, Prof Lucy Ogbadu, has said that Nigeria would soon witness abundant beans as the GM cowpeas (or beans) would be released into the market in large quantities in two or three years’ time, saying that cowpea, which is currently undergoing field trials, wouldn’t pose health risk to Nigerians.
“Rules are being followed in its production. Our Ethical Committee is working day and night to ensure that no rule is breached. Nigerians should be rest assured that the GM beans and other crops which will be available later in the country would be safe for consumption. In 2-3 years’ time, cowpea should be ready in commercial quantity in the country.She dismissed “the insinuation” that GM foods are unhealthy; saying over 100 Nobel Laureates had signed a petition to guarantee its safety.On the alleged production of plastic rice, the NABDA boss said there was no reason why that could be possible. “We do not believe in the story of plastic rice production. One, producing rice from plastic would be very, very expensive and no business man would venture into it. Two, I have gone around and around and did not see any plastic rice in the markets or anywhere else. All the rice I saw did not look plastic.