Vanguard (Lagos)

23 February 2013

Nigeria: Genetically Modified Foods Not Harmful - Expert

Zaria — A Biotechnology expert, Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku, says that no research has shown that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are harmful for consumption.

He stated this on Friday in Zaria at a media training on biotechnology application for journalists, organised by an NGO, Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA).

The term GMOs is commonly used to refer to crop plants, created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques.

These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.

According to him, genetically modified plants are of immense benefit to humans as they will ensure greater yield.

He said that such plants were nutritious and had the ability to resist diseases and insect attacks as well as the capacity to tolerate harsh weather.

"This technology can help enhance food sufficiency and food security and also help improve farmers' income."

He stressed that there was no need for anyone to entertain fears on plants created from molecular biology techniques.

The B4FA's six-month fellowship programme for journalists was launched this year.

The programme is aimed at bridging the gap between science and the public by promoting better understanding and dialogue on developments in agriculture and biosciences throughout Africa.

It is also aimed at encouraging dialogue and promoting better understanding of the available options for improving agricultural productivity in Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda.

The intention was also to enhance reportage of science and agriculture-related issues, especially food production challenges. NAN

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