Scientists on the panel insisted that the biotechnology of which GM was a sub-set have been scientifically proven to be safe for humans and came with better yield while the opponents said issues of food were rather based on common sense.
The debate preceded the
The conference was to provide a forum for African region cross-learning on moving the food and nutrition security agenda in a sustainable manner at the country level, explore ingredients for success and address some existing challenges.
The debate brought together scientists and renowned subject experts, health professionals, academics, politicians and policy makers, religious leaders, students and the general public to examine and have an informed debate on applications of biotechnology in general and particularly GM foods as a contributor to
Panel member Dr
She said the technology was not a silver bullet but one of the tools that could help
Nutritionists on the panel, including Dr
Giving an example of the long cooking time for beans which has led to most people abandoning the high protein food, isolating bacteria to shorten the cooking process was deemed very beneficial.
Dr Anamua noted that GM foods had benefits but raised safety issues such as labelling and said such issued needed to be thoroughly addressed to nib the fear of the unknown in the bud.
He said in the field of medicine, all medicines were derived from natural processes but as time progressed chemical syntheses were used but that did not make drug production dangerous.
"It is the same with GMOs. We cannot just do anything in the laboratory and put on the market without ensuring its efficacy. We have not yet released GMOs into the market. Biotech is not hazardous and they are regulatory framework in place which conforms to international standards," he said.
For him, manipulating genes could have dire consequences for humans and added that GMOs meant seed colonization and seed slavery.
He argued that the Plant Breeders Bill was part of a foreign corporate plan developed by the G8 countries and engineered by USAID to control all of
According to him, the long term intention of those corporations was that every seed that was planted in
He discarded the notion that farmers do not buy seeds and that doing so meant colonization and seed slavery.
Civil society representatives at the debate said it was very crucial for people to attend such forums with open mindedness and be prepared to listen and be informed and that entrenched positions do not help such discourses.
When people do not have open minds they can come out with weird ideas which are not based on empirical scientific evidence.
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