Update: Nigeria changes tune on NK603 gmo – “we only approved field trials”!

June 22, 2016

Health, Nigeria

Most Nigerians do not trust government nor any of its agencies, and not for lack of good reasons.  Nigerian governments have generally never considered its citizens worthy of being informed of issues that directly or indirectly impact their lives, a situation that always leads to rumors and innuendos. When these start and get to alarming proportions that government fears could do a lot of damage, it then acts by sending out lies or “half truths”.
A week ago, this blog carried my comments on the announcement that Nigeria’s Director-General of the National Biosafety Management Agency, Rufus Ebegba, who had reportedly issued two permits, including one for the dreaded NK603 GMO ON A WORK-FREE DAY, MAY 1, 2016.
Now that the government has issued a denial that all it merely did: “… issued permits for field trials … (premiumtimes.com, the same news source for the last commentary), Nigerians would be right to hold on tight to their view of their government: that it hardly ever comes clean with its citizens. Here are reasons why Nigerians should hold on fast that the government of – and in Nigeria finds it easier NOT to be straight with its citizens and should, therefore, not be trusted on the latest statement about GMOs.
First, Monsato’s p.r. after several Nigerian groups issued protests that Nigeria should say ‘no’ to GMOs, i.e. AFTER the stealthy permit approval”:
“Many of us at Monsanto are parents who have spent a lot of time thinking about and studying GMOS and we feel confident feeding them to our kids,” Charla Lord, a Monsanto spokesperson said in an email Thursday …” – premiumtimes.com

Simple interpretation in English Language: YES!

And we got two permits, one for NK603, the corn and the other for genetically-modified cotton; both are here. Listen, we did not get cooperation of permits issued on a holiday for nothing, folks!

The second reason Nigerians must continue to stand their ground and not buy into the not-to-be-believed-denial is the statement issued after the cat of possible duplicitous ACTIONS had been let out of the bag:
We only approved field trials, not planting, for GMO … Nigerian Government.

Simple interpretation in English Language: ‘NOT REALLY!’

And you can believe what you want and do what you like, it’s a done deal.  As our Ọga patapata used to say: I dey laugh, o!  –Ọga At The Top, National Biosafety Management Agency.

Now, to be more serious on the very serious issue of attempting to sneak genetically-modified maize through the back door and ram it down the throat of long-suffering Nigerians, here are some news reports, dating as far back as 2002  on attempts to introduce GMOs to India.  The latest one, first.

Explain move to introduce GM mustard: [India’s Supreme Court] SC asks government

February 2, 2016 | Samanwaya Rautray , ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sought an explanation from the central government on its proposed move to introduce herbicide resistant mustard, cotton andcorn in the face of a court-imposed ban on their introduction.

A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi asked Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi to explain his stand on a contempt petition filed against the members of the committee which cleared the proposal.


Meanwhile, here are a few of more; they are all from the same source [url at essay’s end].

February 15, 2008 | TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has allowed a panel to examine applications for initiating research and field trials involving genetically modified crops, saying the key question involved was “whether we should die of poverty or go for GMOs (genetically modified organisms). ” “We cannot allow millions of us to die of poverty,” the apex court said, refusing to restrain the Genetic Engineering Advisory Committee from scrutinising applications for open field trials for GM crops … See link at the end to read whole report.

 AP bars field trials of Bt cotton

TNN Mar 26, 2002, 07.05pm IST

vijayawada: agriculture minister vadde sobhanadreeswara rao has asserted that there was no question of allowing field trials of the dreaded terminator seeds in the state as also that of the bt cotton variety. addressing the pencounter programme organised by the bezawada press club in vijayawada on sunday, minister said the agreement signed with the us monsanto company was restricted to research in bio-technology and genetic engineering at the proposed bio-technology park of the icici. “we are committed to protect the interests of the farmers by all means. we cannot allow the use of bt cotton seed unless the central government permits it,” minister said. the bt cotton seed was still in an experimental stage and no commercial use of the seed would be permitted, he added. replying to a question, agriculture minister said the state government had approached nabard for a rs 30 crore financial assistance to take up the tarakarama lift irrigation scheme in his mylavaram constituency since the government did not had requisite funds. a response from nabard in this regard was awaited. referring to the pulichintala project, minister said the government was considering the objections being raised by farmers of nalgonda district. only after their views were heard, the government would go ahead with the project, he added. on the central government’s decision to close down food corporation of india, minister said chief minister n chandrababu naidu has already communicated his demand to the centre that it should be continued in the interest of farmers. the agriculture minister attributed farmers’ suicides in various parts of the state to not only to crop losses but also due to other factors like family problems, debt-burden. since farmers were unable to get adequate finance from banks and other institutions they were forced to borrow from private persons.

All references from http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/keyword/field-trials
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016. 3:30 a.m. [GMT]
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2 Comments on “Update: Nigeria changes tune on NK603 gmo – “we only approved field trials”!”

  1. folakemiodoaje Says:

    I think one of our main challenges in Nigeria is not having the right representations in all key positions who are committed to educating the population and insisting on getting opinions on important issues that will affect everyone.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Folakemi,

      Many thanks for your contribution.

      I tend to feel Nigeria has many people who know enough to help people by educating them on different issues as you suggested. I think the problem boils to the same point: selfishness and greed which most times would see Nigerians in charge of any area either looking the other way, or plain could not be bothered how things turn out for his own country people as long as – in both cases – he gets his pay without doing the work.

      Again, your idea is correct if one looks at the word “commitment”, which would mean one who is ready to look beyond what is in any action for him/her. If Nigeria can have many committed Nigerians at levels where key decisions are made, things would begin to improve.


      Liked by 1 person


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