Nigerian anti-GMO groups resume lawsuit alleging biotech crops violate ‘fundamental rights to life’

Credit: EPA/STR

The Registered Trustees of Health of Mother Earth Foundation and 16 other organisations have resumed a lawsuit against the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) and Monsanto Agricultura Nigeria Limited in a matter of fundamental rights (enforcement procedure).

According to the amended originating motion served by Ifeanyi Nwankwere, Esq., the plaintiffs seek a declaration that the genetically modified organisms, Bt cotton (MON 15985) and maize (1) NK603 & (2) MON89Q34 x NK603 approved by the 1st respondent to the 2nd respondent for commercial release and confined field trial respectively in Nigeria, contravene the fundamental rights to life and human dignity of Nigerians as guaranteed under Section 33 and 34 of the 1999 Constitution ….

Related article:  Viewpoint: Developing world farmers see GMO crop adoption as path to prosperity

In 2018, the plaintiff brought this case before the Federal High Court, but it was struck out due to technicalities as it was said to be statute barred. The judge however established that the case did have a course of action and merit, hence it is resumed under the fundamental human rights enforcement procedure.

Nnimmo Bassey, the Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation stated that …. this case is pivotal to the protection of Nigeria’s food system from the claws of the merchants of agricultural biotechnology whose main agenda is profit no matter the detrimental impacts ….

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