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July 13, 2011

Nigeria enacts biosafety law

The Nigerian Senate enacted the Biosafety Bill into law on June 1, 2011, after several years of stakeholders' discussion and debate.

The Bill went through the Senate after going through three readings. It was concurred without amendments to the draft Bill passed by the House of Representatives on July 20, 2010. The law now awaits Presidential assent upon which implementing regulations will be developed to pave way for its operationalization.

The passing of the bill is a major step towards the safe and responsible use of biotech crops in the country. Currently, Nigerian scientists and partners are conducting field trials on genetically modified cowpea and cassava, both important major staple food crops in Nigeria and the sub-Saharan Africa at large.

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