our favorite “Oloyi” beans may now be recreated in the lab before planting
As we were busy arguing about the Chief Justice ousting, plus trying to follow president Buhari’s accent on the campaign trail, – The ministry of agriculture quietly approved the production of genetically modified beans in Nigeria
The crop was developed by the Institute for Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The approval was announced in a press statement, on Tuesday, by Ishiyaku Mohammad who is in charge of the project.
Will you eat it? here’s everything you need to know about genetically modified foods
What is GMO
Remember tomatoes scarcity in Nigeria in 2016, well a moth aptly nicknamed tomato Ebola infested and destroyed swaths of tomatoes in the North, instantly taking up the price and causing huge scarcity. Imagine a scientist took the original tomato into the lab and changed the DNA making it resistant or poisonous to the deadly Tomato Ebola moth.
You See Genetically modified food is created to give the farmer a better yield irrespective of the conditions (famine, lack of sun, pest attack, etc) scientist would tinker with the seeds, alter the DNA, sometimes fuse with another- the result is a new seed that can endure whatever harsh condition to still deliver a robust & healthy plant
Sounds good right, but there are mixed opinions about Genetically Modified food
Pro GMO Users believe…
Plants are genetically modified to add more nutrients, to improve their favorable traits – cows that produce more milk, plants that can survive in drought, etc
With climate change affecting food production, and the oceans drying up, people would literally starve to death if GMO foods are not available to adapt to these conditions
Genetically modified foods have been going on for thousands of years through cross breeding –(cross breeding replant crops with good yield and pollinate them together ) – they believe GMO is just a precise form of cross breeding plants
They believe there is no science to prove that non GMO foods are better
Natural foods also get sprayed with chemicals , except in much smaller dozes, it is very inefficient and requires a lot more land to cultivate- With earth’s population expected to rise to 11 billion, should we really be promoting something that uses more land and produces less food?
Anti GMO group believe it should be banned because …
Some of the plants are made to be toxic and poisonous to insects, but not to humans- but in actual fact the poison that kills insects quickly would kill humans slowly
The Gmo plants can tolerate heavy pesticides- hence a lot more pesticides are sprayed on the GMO plants than the natural plants- this damages soil, increases food toxins, allergens and reduce the natural nutrients in the food
There is an element of Human error and abuse – sometimes viral and bacterial genes are added into plant seeds, poultry and cow and the are hazardous
The GMO company makes terminal seeds that ensures the farmers have to go back and produce a new one without the option of the plant continue to bear fruits all year round
Experiment in mice showed that those that ate GMO foods developed tumors and did nor live two full years ( the life cycle of a rat)
Genetically Modified foods – Nay or Yah?
I think they both play a vital role, a combination of both would help reduce food shortages- My take. what’s yours