The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has sent out a strong warning to Nigerians concerning the licensing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) crops to be farmed in Nigeria.
In a statement sent to The Herald by the PDP New Media Director, Deji Adeyanju, the party warned Nigerians on the deadly effect of such crops.
GMO crops have been banned or restricted in many countries across the world due to their negative effects on the human body and the environment. Some of these crops are known to cause cancer and other life threatening diseases.
The statement from the PDP reads:
On May 1, 2016 the National Biosafety Management Agency issued a licence to Mosanto Agriculture (Nig) Limited authorising it to place genetically modified cotton on the Nigerian market for commercial use.
2. On the same day, NBMA also issued a licence to MAL authorising it to commence Confined Field Trials (CFT) on genetically modified corn (NK603 & MON 89034 x NK603) with Permit No: NBMA/C FT/001.
3. MAL is a subsidiary of Mosanto Company, a US based Agriculture Company. It produces genetically modified seeds & crops as well as glyphosate based herbicides.
4. We are concerned that the @MBuhari is licencing a company that produces controversial & dangerous crops & products to participate in the agriculture sector in Nigeria.
5. Furthermore, this company has shown a willingness to participate in corrupt practices in global circles.
6. The company the @MBuhari admin is licensing to produce corn for consumption by Nigerians was the sole producer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned in 1979 due to its link to birth defects & cancer in laboratory animals & adverse skin & liver effects in humans.
7. In May 2016 a St Louis jury awarded damages in the sum of $46.5m for negligence in handling PCBs which caused the plaintiffs to contract non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
8. Amongst other things, the jury determined that Mosanto had known that its PCBs were a dangerous health hazard since 1955 but covered that fact up. This is the company the @MBuhari admi has licenced to operate in Nigeria.
9. Mosanto is the manufacturer of the herbicide – Round up, a glyphosate based herbicide. In March 2015, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) classified glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen which is “probably” able to cause cancer in humans.
10. The Company licenced by the @MBuhari admin also produces the herbicide – Lasso. In 2015, a French Appeals Court upheld the decision of a French Court that found it guilty of the chemical poisoning of a farmer who had used Lasso.
11. In May 2015, the European Union (EU) Parliament refrained from taking a vote to extend the licence for the use of “Round up” in Europe.
12. In 2005, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DFA) in which Monsanto admitted to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In the case, Mosanto admitted bribing Indonesian govt officials & telling officials to invoice bribes as “Consulting Fees”. Mosanto also admitted to paying bribes to high-ranking Indonesian govt officials between 1997 & 2002.
13. In 2013, Mosanto’s “Round Up Ready Wheat” which was never approved for use by US regulators & which the company said it stopped testing in 2003 was found on farm in Oregon. As result, Japan & South Korea temporarily stopped importing wheat from the US for a period of time.
14. In 2015, Burkina Faso announced that it would be phasing out Mosanto’s GM Bt cotton from its fields. In addition, farmers in Burkina Faso are claiming as much as $280m from the company.
15. Burkina Faso’s govt said the use of the product “…has undermined the reputation of Burkinabè cotton & cut into its value on the international market.”
16. In a statement by the Burkinabe govt, it cited inferior quality of the GM Bt cotton, shorter staple length & lower ginning ratio.
17. In effect, the @MBuhari admin has licenced a company that not only produces harmful products, but also has a track record of concealing the harmful effects of those products to operate in #NGR.
18. In effect, the @MBuhari admin has licenced a company which admits to bribing govt officials to conceal its activities to operate in #NGR.
19. In effect, the @MBuhari admin has licenced a company which carries out unregulated tests of its crops & products.
20. In effect, @MBuhari admin has licenced a company which is being phased out of Burkina Faso to produce its low quality crops in Nigeria.
21. The licencing of Mosanto to operate in Nigeria is not only harmful to the health of Nigeria, but is a danger to its agricultural sector and its economy.
22. We urge the @MBuhari admin to immediately revoke this licence
& revert to safer crop technologies in the interest of all Nigerians.