No poisonous rice in Nigeria – FG

The National Biosafety Management Agency has described as untrue claims that there were genetically modified rice in the Nigerian market.

It said those making the insinuations that the country had been flooded with ‘poisonous’ rice were mischief makers.

The Director-General, NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, made the clarification during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said the Federal Government was mindful of the safety of Nigerians and as such would not open its borders to what had not been properly released and accepted in other countries.

He said, “The attention of the NBMA has been drawn to a certain online post that a firm and the government of Nigeria have flooded the Nigerian market with the GM rice purported to be poisonous.

“This falsehood definitely is the product of the writer’s imagination, who probably is using a pseudo name.

“As a regulatory body established by the government to regulate the activities of modern biotechnology and the release and use of genetically modified organisms in the country to ensure safety to the environment and human health, the NBMA wishes to state that there is no iota of truth in the said post and reinstates that no GM rice has either been imported or released officially into the country.

“In a bid to cast aspersions on the modest efforts of the government towards the adoption of safe biotechnology in Nigeria, the writer craftly and maliciously laced his post with poison to cause unnecessary public panic.”

Ebegba said a survey had been conducted by the agency and it was discovered that there is no genetically modified rice in Nigeria.

He said with the ban placed by the government on the importation of rice into the county, it would be difficult for such type of product to find its way into the Nigerian market.