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Nigeria to trial GM cassava

Nigeria is to carry out trials of genetically modified virus-resistant cassava, the newswire, SciDev, reports. The country’s National Biosafety Committee gave the go-ahead earlier this year to the US-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, it adds. The plants are resistant to cassava mosaic virus and have been developed for higher nutritional value. The Nigerian National Root Crops Research Initiative will monitor the trials. The plans are meeting resistance. The National Biosafety Committee does not have the legal power to grant the approval, newswire AllAfrica reports. Environmentalist groups have called for the trials to be stopped, saying they would be a "breach" of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The trial team also seeks to field test the crop in Kenya this year, SciDev adds.

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