GMO Rice Importation – Dangote Group has publicly countered an online report that the group in partnership with the Federal Government are importing genetically modified rice into the Nigerian market.
Both Dangote and the Federal government have debunked the GMO rice importation report, calling it false.
The Dangote group denied the claim in an official statement:
“It is absolutely false! Dangote is not involved in the production or sales of GMOs and its research in Nigeria or anywhere.”
“However, what people should know is the ground breaking progress Dangote Rice has made since 2014 when it stopped importation of rice and began local cultivation.”
“Moreover, with the ever watchful eagle eyes of organizations such as NAFDAC, SON, CPC with mandate to ensure food safety, how can a big organisation like Dangote import and flood the market with poisonous rice.”
The group says the information was probably circulated by people who want to disrepute the image of the billionaire.
It is on record that this year, Dangote commenced a multi-billion naira Rice Outgrower Scheme over 8,000 hectares in Hadejia, Jigawa State.
Certified by the National Agricultural Seeds Council. Dangote distributed the FARO 44 rice seeds to farmers.
The Federal government likewise has denied the GMO rice importation claims. The Director-General of the National Biosafety Management Agency, Rufus Ebegba, said so during a news conference on Wednesday in the nation’s capital.
Rufus Egbegba says there is no atom of truth in the supposed report that genetically modified rice was imported into the country.
The cultivation and use of genetically modified varieties of rice remains controversial. It is not approved in some countries.
This variety of rice has its DNA altered or modified. GMO rice grains are genetically engineered in such a way that it has high amounts of micro-nutrients. They are modified to adapt to specific agricultural and nutritional conditions.
However, it appears they have not been fully certified to be healthy for consumption. GMOs are often altered with DNA from another organism – bacterium, plant, virus or animal.
Egbegba reminded the public that Nigeria has not yet lifted the ban on the importation of rice. Thus, there was not truth in the GMO rice importation panic.