Nigeria validates gene-editing guidelines to ensure safe development of CRISPR crops

Credit: Nkechi Isaac
Credit: Nkechi Isaac

The [Nigerian] National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) on [December 9], formally validated its National Biosafety Guidelines on Gene Editing.

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba while speaking during the Validation exercise in Abuja, said the Agency has been evolving and the Federal government is poised to drive the economy and the livelihood of the people, noting that Nigeria has keyed into science and technology as major drivers of the economy globally, hence the need for the NBMA to ensure that these technologies are safe and does not have adverse impact on human health and the Environment.

He said “we seriously believe that gene editing needs adequate regulation so that products that will be developed will not be harmful to the environment, human health, plants and animals and it is on that note that the need for the amendment of the NBMA act 2015 to include emerging aspects of Biotechnologies in the area of synthetic biology, gene drive, gene editing and Biosecurity where made in 2019.”

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According to him, “We have subjected this guideline to national and international reviews and even scientists from research institutes reviewed it in a bid to make sure we come up with a robust document that will ensure the proper regulation of gene editing and its products for food and feed processes, confinement, contained use and commercial release.”

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