The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has disclosed that there is no nexus between genetically modified (GM) crops and cancer or any ailment, insisting that GM crops would rather take smallholder farmers out of poverty and help Nigeria and the African continent attain food security faster than the use of conventional crops.
The National President of AFAN, Architect Kabir Ibrahim, dismissed what he called a “fairy tale against the reality and negative diatribe on GMOs orchestrated by anti-GMO activists” while explaining that the effects of climate change will be less adversely felt by the use of genetically modified crops.
GMO crops are designed to improve on the quality of conventional plants to become a crucial tool in feeding the world’s growing population by producing crops with higher resistance to disease, more nutritious, taste better, and produce better.
However, genetically modified foods are a relatively new practice, which means the long-term effects on safety are not yet clear, raising a lot of concerns about possible risks.
Ibrahim noted that bodies like the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), supported by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), and others have been set up to provide enabling laws and to provide advocacy on the safety of GM crops.
He recalled that he had the privilege of attending a Global Food Security Conference in Ithaca, Connell University, New York, USA, where eminent scientists and anti-GMO activists converged to brainstorm on the GM issue.
“At the end of the conference, some anti-GMO activists converted to PROs and half-baked scientists and farmers like me embraced biotechnology, which gave rise to GM, and we have been at the forefront of the Global Science Alliance’s advocacy for GM.” He said