A guideline on Genetically Modified (GM) Plants with Stacked Genes and Genetically Modified (GM) Fish for Biotechnology Researchers was presented to experts for review in Abuja.
The Director General and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Rufus Ebegba, who addressed the 53 experts drawn from local and international agencies for the review, said the agency is committed to ensuring that the application of multiple genes does not have an adverse effect on humans, plants and the environment.
The presentation was in collaboration with the Program for Biosafety Systems.
He said this underscores the painstaking efforts being made to produce guidelines to regulate the activities of researchers, whether public or private, in the country.
This was disclosed during the public presentation of the national biosafety guidelines in genetically modified plants with stacked genes and genetically modified fish where 53 stakeholders from local and international agencies were present.
According to Ebegba, “This exercise aims to ensure that modern biotechnology applications and products do not have negative impacts on the production of GMOs in our country for economic development.
“We recently developed another guideline known as the National Gene Stack Biosafety Guidelines.
“These guidelines are being developed by agency staff and are also going through various stakeholder review processes.
“We have also validated these guidelines and the stakeholders have also validated these guidelines.
“These guidelines shall guide the process by various research institutes or individuals and technology developers to ensure that the application of modern biotechnology in the field of inclusion of more than one gene in the development of a genetically modified organism particular is safe.”
He noted that then “the guidelines will help realize the need that in recent GMO development, there is not just one gene, they have added more than one gene to perform various functions to make the genetically modified organism more effective and useful.
“Given this, we have also come across in the past, the GMOs that we have looked at for safety, the quality of the gene that contains insect resistance and herbicide tolerance, and there are new ones that are also coming out with more genes.
“The key is whether those genes that have been stacked in a particular organism, if they have been stacked during their interactions, can lead to the manifestation of new materials or any materials that may be harmful to the environment.
“These guidelines will guide developers; will guide the research community and also guide the agency on leveraging technology developers in the gene stack field.
“We believe this guideline has been carefully reviewed. Not in the Nigerian context alone. It would have been submitted to an international exhibition will help you with an international contribution to these guidelines.
The Chief Executive of the National Biosafety Management Agency expressed optimism that the directive will help us to be more efficient in Nigeria’s regulatory system when it comes to GMOs.
National Program Coordinator for Biosafety Systems (PBS), Dr. Matthew Dore, NBMA’s response to the emerging field of biotechnology was commendable as it would build the capacity of NBMA on the African continent.
He highlighted that “with Africa-wide policy influencers and the Biosafety Systems Programme, as a recognized capacity
“NBMA is forward-looking, striving to respond to developments in the public presentation of national biosecurity guidelines, particularly with a diligent compilation of guidelines, regulations, and administrative builders in the field, to ensure that Nigeria is ahead of the curve.”
He pointed out that this revolutionary technology will further improve food production and promote national food security.
In her presentation to stakeholders at the public presentation of the guideline for GM plants and fish, Ms. Bello Scholastica, said the benefits of stacked genes include agronomic improvement and a better chance of overcoming associated agronomic challenges. to pests, weeds, environmental stress and more.
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