(COMMON DREAMS) Nika Knight, March 29, 2016 — Monsanto is poised to begin planting genetically modified varieties of corn and cotton in Nigeria, provoking the outrage of millions.
In response to the biotech behemoth’s application for the release and marketing of the GMO crops in the West African nation, 100 non-profits representing over 5 million Nigerians on Monday presented the government with a formal objection (pdf).
“That NABMA is even considering this application is indeed unfortunate and deeply regrettable, knowing full well about the uncontrolled exposure that our rural farmers and communities living close to farms will be exposed to.”—Mariann Orovwuje, Friends of the Earth International’s food sovereignty co-coordinator
The non-profits advocate for Nigerians from a wide swath of society—from teachers, pastors, and artists, to farmers, environmentalists, and domestic abuse survivors, among many others. The vast range of groups objecting to the Monsanto application, which was submitted last month, testifies to extent of the distrust toward genetically modified food in Nigerian society.
The groups “are particularly alarmed that [Monsanto’s] application has come so close after the dismal failures of Bt cotton in Burkina Faso,” wrote the environmental think tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), which played a central role in drafting and organizing the objection.