Farmers in Kano State have urged the government to place a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). This call has been made as a result of the environmental and health detriments on consumers.
GMO plants are supposedly created to be tougher, more nutritious, or taste better. Most available food are plants such as fruits and vegetables. However, many consumers have concerns over the safety of these crops and there are debates about the pros and cons of using GMOs.
Genetic modification is said to make crops more disease resistant as they grow and to give foods desirable traits. Crops that are more resistant to diseases produce higher yields for farmers. In addition, some crops are engineered to be more nutritious and tolerant of herbicides. Ultimately, these factors contribute to lower costs for the consumer.
The disadvantages, however, seem to outweigh the positives. Because it is a relatively new practice, there is still some research to be done on the subject. Based on evidence, GMO foods can contribute to development of cancer cells in the body. The argument is that because the disease is caused by mutations in DNA, so it is dangerous to introduce new genes into the system. Some researchers believe that it can also cause allergic reactions, build resistance to antibiotics, and cause immuno-suppression.
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) Programme Manager, Joyce Ebebeinwe, also revealed that the chemicals found in these products have led to soil degradation. According to Ebebeinwe, this has led to increased output of unhealthy crops.