Kick against introduction of GMO foods, seeds
The Deputy Director of Food Sovereignty, Ghana (FSG), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) concerned with food safety issues, Mr Duke Tagoe, has appealed to Ghanaians to kick against the introduction of genetically modified organism (GMO) food and seeds into the country.
This is because it will deprive Ghanaians of their means of livelihood since the government would have to import all seeds from Monsanto, the international company responsible for the production of the GMOs, instead of local seed growers.
Mr Tagoe made the appeal last saturday at the Agbloboshie Market in Accra when the group embarked on a march to express their displeasure at the intended introduction of GMO foods and seeds into the country.
The GMOs, he said, would bring untold hardship to Ghanaian farmers, and the economy if Ghanaians allowed the Western world to dump such unprofitable food products and seeds on Ghana.
The march was to help create awareness among Ghanaians, especially market women on the GMO foods/seeds in the markets, their impact on the economy and the health dangers associated with their consumption.
Some of the placards displayed during the march read: ‘GMO will make Ghanaian farmers poorer’, ‘Ban GMO’, ‘Syngenta, leave our farmers alone’, ‘GMO is poison’, ‘Monsanto or Man-Satan’, ‘GMO is a nightmare technology that has already caused many pandemics’, ‘Kofi Annan promote Monsanto’.
Briefing the media, Mr Tagoe said the GMOs were associated with heart diseases, fibroid, diabetes, cancers, among others and as such, they were not good for human consumption.
On the effect GMOs had on farmers, he said, ‘Ghanaian farmers would be poorer since there has not been any documented evidence that there will be improved yield’.
He also mentioned that in places where farmers had cultivated GMO seeds, they spent more money on pesticides, thus debunking the idea that the GMOs controlled pest infestation.
On the effect of GMOs on the economy, Mr Tagoe said the country would lose a lot of revenue in the importation of GMO seeds.
According to him, Ghana had the benefit of learning from countries such as India and South Africa, that had already introduced GMO foods and even Europe that had banned GMO foods.
‘India today has regretted using genetically modified foods because the GM foods have not brought them any benefits,’ Mr Tagoe said.
General Secretary of Food Sovereignty Ghana, Mr Kweku Dadzie, for his part, called on the government to introduce policies that would benefit Ghanaians and not only a few people in society.
He said his outfit would embark on a nationwide campaign to educate Ghanaians on GMO foods.
Some traders at the Agbobloshie Market indicated that many of them were not aware of the GMO foods.
They, however, appealed to the media to help educate Ghanaians to be able to identify such foods.
By Vida Essel/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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