Nigerian agency calls for biosafety bill approval
The Nigerian government body, the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), has called for the passing of a biosafety bill governing genetically modified crops. NABDA director general Bamidele Solomon made the appeal this month as the bill enters the upper house, the Senate. ”A draft biosafety bill that was presented to the House of Representatives as a privately sponsored bill in 2009, after having waited so long for it to be submitted as an executive bill, was passed on July 20th 2010,” he noted. The sale and use of GM crops requires such legislation. NABDA parent body the Ministry of Science and Technology has pushed for adoption of GMOs for at least three years ( Agrow No 552, p 21). Only field trials of GM lines have so far been undertaken in the country ( Agrow passim). Failure to pass the legislation in the Senate would mean “starting the whole process all over again”.