Cablegate: Nigeria's Preparations for Round 2 of The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

290822Z Dec 04




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 259661

1. This is an update of biosafety developments that have
occurred in Nigeria since February 2004. According to
Nigerian press reporting, biotechnologists, journalists, and
other stakeholders met twice for a "brainstorming and public
outing [discussion]" of Nigeria's National Biosafety
Frameworks program in Nigeria in 2004. These meetings took
place in Ibadan in April and in Zaria in December.

2. The institution responsible for biosafety in Nigeria is
the National Biosafety Committee (NBC), a technical advisory
body to the Ministry of Agriculture. The NBC is responsible
for formulating policies and procedures pertaining to
Nigerian agro-biotechnology. This committee comprises
representatives from the ministries of agriculture,
industry, environment, health, and science and technology,
as well as representatives from Nigeria's private sector and
scientific community.

3. Embassy Abuja ESTH Officer spoke on December 28 with
Mathew Dore, the national project coordinator of the
Nigerian National Biosafety Frameworks program, which comes
under the NBC. Dore said Nigeria does not have biosafety
legislation, but a draft law is circulating within the
relevant ministries and agencies. This proposed legislation
would establish biosafety controls on the transboundary
movement of living modified organisms (LMOs) and regulate
controlled trials, field trials, and commercial sales of
LMOs in Nigeria. According to Dore, the proposed
legislation would also address the issue of documentation
accompanying LMOs, as well as the issues of the Biosafety
Clearing House, liability, and redress.

4. Dore said Nigeria plans to hold two public hearings on
biosafety for stakeholders and industry representatives by
March 2005. He expects the relevant legislation to reach
the National Assembly by June 2005.

5. According to Professor C.P.E. Omaliko, director general
of Nigeria's National Biotechnology Development Agency, the
country's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration
Control has not developed regulations on labeling
genetically modified foods, organisms, or drugs, and is not
considering developing such legislation.


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