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    NASC Calls for adoption of GMOs to Revolutionize Agriculture

    The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has called on Nigerians to adopt the application of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in order to revolutionize Nigeria’s approach to addressing pressing global challenges such as food scarcity, malnutrition, and environmental sustainability.

    The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has called on Nigerians to adopt the application of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in order to revolutionize Nigeria’s approach to addressing pressing global challenges such as food scarcity, malnutrition, and environmental sustainability.

    The Acting Director General of NASC, Khalid Ishiak, disclosed this during a press conference in Abuja amidst controversy surrounding the commercialization of the Tela maize variety, which is a genetically modified (GM) corn variety in Nigeria.

    Amidst concerns over the adoption of GM crops in Nigeria, the federal government in January approved the commercial release of four “Tela maize” varieties for commercial planting in the country. The commercialization of the maize varieties placed Nigeria second in the list of African countries that have adopted and commercialized the “T maize” varieties after South Africa.

    ARCN Declares Genetically Modified Crops Safe for Consumption

    Tela maize is a maize variety that has been genetically engineered for improved insect resistance and drought tolerance. To boost farmers’ yield per hectare and also complement existing demand gaps, yields of Tela maize could reach up to 10 tons per hectare, as against an average yield of 2.2 tons per hectare for conventional seed.

    Ishiak disclosed that there are 40 metric tons of Tela maize variety within Nigeria for farmers at the moment, while using the occasion to speak on concerns relating to the viability and safety of GMO seeds, emphasizing that the notion that seeds from harvested GMO materials cannot be replanted is incorrect.

    NBMA Assures Safety Over Consumption of TELA Maize

    The Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Agnes Asagbra, noted on her part that while concerns exist about long-term effects, the current scientific consensus—supported by the NBMA—is that GMO foods approved for consumption in Nigeria are safe as a result of the rigorous risk assessment guide that has been carried out.

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