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Open forum debunks claims on genetically modified beans


Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr Rose Gidado

The Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr Rose Gidado, has debunked claims by some non-governmental organisations that genetically modified beans are harmful to humans.
In a statement in Abuja, Gidado said that the conspiracy claims were targeted at discrediting a 10-year research work carried out by scientists at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, in Kaduna State.
She explained that genetically modified cowpea had not been released, adding that the groups lacked basic knowledge of biology, making their views and positions not only faulty but also lacking scientific substances.
According to her, the concept of substantial equivalence holds that comparing it with traditional food may help in assessing safety of a new food, particularly one that has been modified and used over time.
She added that in this approach, differences might be identified for further scrutiny, which could involve nutritional, toxicological and immunological tests, and these have nothing to do with cowpea.
Explaining further, Gidado maintained that its development was mainly to withstand the ravaging impact of Maruca, which is a great feat on the part of Nigerian scientists, and should be celebrated and not discredited.

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