FG Threatens To Shut Shoprite,  NEXT Over Sale Of GMO Foods


The Federal Government, through its National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA, has given retail store giants, Shoprite and Next Cash ‘N’ Carry, a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw all products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms from their shelves or face a total shutdown.

The warnings were issued to representatives of the two superstores at a briefing in Abuja on Friday.

Rufus Ebegba, Director-General, NBMA, said that the action was sequel to the loads of complaints by members of the public about the sale of GMO foods in the two stores.

He said the agency decided to carry out a survey of likely GMO products “and we have been able to have some collections, some materials that we call GMO suspects.”

“We call them GMO suspects because we have not been able to ascertain their status,” he said.

Egbega explained: “Why we have invited the superstores basically is for them to understand that some of their products need to be properly ascertained before they are brought in, especially the imported ones that may contain genetically modified materials, so that they will not run afoul of the law.

“There is a law in place. We will not want any segment of the society out of ignorance to act in manners that will infringe on the law.

“The Biosafety Management Act empowers the NBMA to regulate the activities of modern biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organisms.”



    The NBMA DG, while urging the retail outfits to ensure that all GMO products on their shelves were duly registered by the agency by obtaining permits, maintained that the agency will not hesitate to shut down any of the stores found selling unregistered GMO products in the country.

    “If they have any GMO food in their stores, they should withdraw them from their shelves within seven days,” Egbega said

    “We have taken samples, which we are analysing. This information is not peculiar to only the superstores.

    “We are not threatening anybody, we are just telling you the consequences of dealing in GMO products if found in these stores. Within the next seven days, we believe you will withdraw from your shelves all foods that are derived from genetically modified organisms.”

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