Nigeria: Experts Fault Proposed Field Trial of Genetically Modified Cassava
by Cornelius Essen (The Guardian/All Africa) Experts have condemned an alleged move by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) and Zurich, Switzerland-based ETHZ Laboratories to carry out confined field trial of genetically modified cassava in Nigeria.
They alleged that the application, submitted by both agencies to the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) was a subtle way of flooding the country’s food system with genetic food crops, including beans, maize and cotton.
According to them, the IITA and the Swiss firm were contemplating genetically modified cassava by obtaining storage roots with lower post- harvest physiological degradation post-harvest without any loss of starch.
The institute had hinted of conducting a test with a novel gene-silencing technology.
The Director of Home of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey, said going the way of genetically modified organism (GMO) by the IITA portends a great danger since most farmers depend on it for quality and safe crops.
The Chairperson of Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Mariann B. Orovwuje, argued that elevating genetically modified (GM) crops for biofuels demonstrates the pretence of biotech giants, which argue that they are necessary for food production to feed the population. READ MORE