6th September, 2011
A Non-Government Organisation, Consumers Protection Organisation of Nigeria, CPON, has tasked the Federal Government to immediately begin to implement the world approved Genetically Modified (GM) food guidelines in the country.
In a statement by the Executive Director of CPON, Mr. Olanrewaju Oginni, the body said it is necessary for the country to immediately begin the implementation of the GM labelling policy recently approved by the umbrella body of the food safety commission, Codex Alimentarius Commission, as genetically modified foods may have started entering the country.
Oginni said Nigerian consumers deserve to know the content of the GM foods that may have already started coming into the country so as to be able to make informed decisions on whether to buy them or not.
“Consumers have a legitimate right to information. Food labels provide information that enables consumers to maKe informed choice whether based on safety or other concerns. With this new codex agreement, it is important for Nigerian, nay African government to begin to implement labelling for all food containing, consisting of or derived from GMOs,” he said.
Oginni explained that the new Codex agreement means that any country wishing to adopt GM food labelling will no longer face the threat of a challenge from the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This is because national measures based on Codex guidelines or standards cannot be challenged as a barrier to trade. The agreement also recognises the enormous health monitoring benefits of giving consumers transparent information about the presence of GM foods.