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Tela maiza is safe, NBMA assures Nigerians 

The National Biosafety Management Agency said its attention has been drawn to the concerns of Nigerians as a result of the approval and launch of TELA maize in Nigeria.

The NBMA explained in a statement that it takes into serious cognizance of the concerns of Nigerians as maize is a staple crop and of great importance to the country.  “We understand that concerns and misinformation have been circulating about the recently approved TELA Maize in Nigeria. 

“The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), is committed to ensuring transparency, safety, and unbiased decision-making regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“NBMA wishes to state here that the safety and health of Nigerians is of topmost priority we will not compromise on this. The Agency has done a proper risk assessment and analysis to ensure this product’s safety for human health and the environment. 

“The application for TELA Maize was thoroughly examined by two committees comprising of experts and scientists composed of experts from the various relevant Agencies and the Academia, namely National Agency for Food and  Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASCs), universities, research institutions among others who are renowned professionals in the particular field and our internal review process confirmed that TELA Maize meets safety standards. This ensures that the regulatory oversight of GMOs by NBMA meets strict safety standards and poses no adverse risks to health or the environment.

“NBMA acknowledges that there have been misleading claims about TELA Maize, including allegations that it is fake and laced with insecticides/pesticides.

“These claims are not based on scientific evidence and are designed to create unnecessary fear and panic in the country as TELA maize was developed by Nigerian scientists in the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) and these scientists and researchers took into cognizance the challenge farmers have faced over the years in the planting of maize. This maize variety rather reduces the use of pesticides while boosting productivity thereby having better health benefits.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that this maize variety has been certified to be as safe as its organic or conventional counterpart as there are no chemicals or insecticides laced in them as claimed by some groups in Nigeria.

The NBMA operates independently and without bias as our decisions are guided by scientific evidence, international best practices, and with the well-being of Nigerians in mind.

“TELA Maize was modified for insect resistance and drought tolerance and our risk assessment considered exposure to the environment, nutritional composition, and potential impacts on biological diversity,” the statement explained.

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