The Nigerian federal government may shutdown superstores like cash ‘n’ carry, Shoprite over sale of GMO foods. The government through National Biosafety Management Agency issued a seven-day deadline to the retail giants to desist from selling/ pull down products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms from their shelves.
How the government found out
According to Rufus Ebegba, director general of the NBMA, the action was spurred from complaints received by customers that both super stores were selling GMO foods.
“Recently, we carried 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.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.”
We will not hesitate to shut them down
Ebegba also said that if the deadline expires and investigations show that any of the stores are still selling GMO foods, there will be no hesitation in closing them down.
“If they have any GMO food in their stores, they should withdraw them from their shelves within seven days. The NBMA will not hesitate to shut down those stores found selling GMO products. We will not want to see any GMO food in your stores. We urge you to comply with this Act.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.”
Both stores received the warning through their representatives in Abuja.