PFAG raises alarm over illegal cultivation of GMOs


The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana is raising alarm over what it says is the illegal cultivation of genetically modified foods in the country.

Contrary to Section 13 of the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, the Association says the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other institutions are illegally supervising the production of GM foods in the country.

The Act says: “A person shall not, without the prior written approval of the Authority, import or place on the market a genetically modified organism.”

But in a statement the PFAG said: “the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has harvested its fourth batch of genetically-modified (GM) rice cultivated at Nobewam in the Ashanti Region for confined field trials (CFTs).”

“Information reaching us also attest to the fact that Ghana has successfully developed a genetically modified cowpea (beans), referred to as Bt cowpea. The Bt cowpea, developed by the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) at Nyankpala in the Northern Region, is stated as being likely the first GM crop/food to be introduced in Ghana.”

The PFAG has described the development as worrying.

The Association is all the more concerned about “the visit by the Ministry of Justice and some members of the Select Committee on Constitutional, Parliamentary and Legal affairs of Parliament to the Netherlands to solicit support for the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill in Ghana.

“Lop-sided and misleading education by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with the Ghana Chapter of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) on the merits of GMOs without addressing the concerns of farmers and CSOs in Ghana.”

It is in line with these worrying trends that the PFAG is calling on the government to place a moratorium on the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill as well as calling on Government to ensure that the Biosafety Authority makes public its work in actively monitoring the activities of the National Bio-safety Committee.

The Association is calling for a dialogue with the Select Committee on Constitutional, Parliamentary and Legal affairs of Parliament to resolve the grievance.

PFAG says it will use all legal means possible to make sure the Ghanaian populace is well educated on the effect of GMOs.


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