Focus on biosafety in Nigeria
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CTA. 1995. Focus on biosafety in Nigeria. Spore 57. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47081
a workshop was held to develop the country's capability for the implementation of biosafety guidelines. The workshop was held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, from 1620 January 1995.
The potential global influence and benefits of modern biotechnology as well as the possible number of products are tremendous. It is therefore necessary for each country to devise regulatory guidelines to ensure that the practice and products of biotechnology within its borders are safe. Accident prevention is imperative since organisms released into the environment deliberately or accidentally might multiply and spread to neighbouring countries thereby exceeding the test area designated to them. This is potentially dangerous since crops livestock and even human lives could be adversely affected. In order to forestall mistakes and put in place a policy for safe application of biotechnology in agriculture, medicine and the environment in Nigeria, a workshop was held to develop the country's capability for the implementation of biosafety guidelines. The workshop was held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, from 1620 January 1995. It was sponsored by IITA in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute of Sweden and discussed, among other things, general measures for risk evaluation and reduction, and prescription of appropriate conditions for the use of biotechnology and its products. Environmental risk assessment involves the evaluation of the risks connected with the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products containing GMOs. During the workshop the kinds of risk assessed included the potentials for modified plants to become weeds; and for modified animals to become pests. Risk assessment focused mainly on the development, handling, field testing, and use of GMOs. Participants also called for the establishment of institutional biosafety committees which would be present in all private and public Nigerian institutions that undertake biotechnology research and/or development. The various committees would perform basically the same tasks as the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and would be responsible to, and cooperate with, the NBC in monitoring the application of biotechnology and its side effects in Nigeria. Thelma Okereke Public Affairs IITA PMB 5320 Ibadan, NIGERIA