Court Stops Sale Of GMOs In Ghana


An Accra Fast Track High Court has halted the production and sale of Genetically Modified cowpeas and rice in Ghana. The court said the Agriculture Ministry cannot approve the sale of GMOs until it rules on a case brought before it by the Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG).

The civil society group has sued the National Biosafety Committee set up by the Ghana government and the Ministry of Agriculture in a bid to prevent them from releasing and commercialising genetically modified cowpeas and rice.

According to the FSG, the government cannot go ahead to implement the process for genetically modified foods since it has failed to comply with the provisions of the main Biosafety Act.

The lawyer of FSG, George Tetteh Wayo, welcomed the court order.

‘This case is the first GMO case in Ghana. We are pushing this case to its final conclusion. The right thing must be done and respected. They need to consult the public and engage stakeholders. The Constitution of Ghana is clear on public awareness, how many Ghanaians can identify GMO cowpea on the market,’ Wayo told the media after the case on Tuesday.

The case will be recalled on April 2.
Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which in part requires parties to promote public awareness and education regarding the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms, the statement said. The agreement also requires parties to consult the public on decisions regarding food biosafety.

Ghana is one of the few African countries that have allowed the introduction of GM foods. Currently, field trials of modified rice and cowpeas as well as cotton are underway in the Ashanti and Northern regions respectively.

Genetic modification refers to techniques used to manipulate the genetic composition of an organism by adding specific useful genes. These useful genes could make crops high-yielding, disease resistant or drought-resistant.

An Accra Fast Track High Court has halted the production and sale of Genetically Modified cowpeas and rice in Ghana.

The court said the Agriculture Ministry cannot approve the sale of GMOs until it rules on a case brought before it by the Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG).

The civil society group has sued the National Biosafety Committee set up by the Ghana government and the Ministry of Agriculture in a bid to prevent them from releasing and commercialising genetically modified cowpeas and rice.

According to the FSG, the government cannot go ahead to implement the process for genetically modified foods since it has failed to comply with the provisions of the main Biosafety Act.

The lawyer of FSG, George Tetteh Wayo, welcomed the court order.

‘This case is the first GMO case in Ghana. We are pushing this case to its final conclusion. The right thing must be done and respected. They need to consult the public and engage stakeholders. The Constitution of Ghana is clear on public awareness, how many Ghanaians can identify GMO cowpea on the market,’ Wayo told the media after the case on Tuesday.

The case will be recalled on April 2.
Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which in part requires parties to promote public awareness and education regarding the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms, the statement said. The agreement also requires parties to consult the public on decisions regarding food biosafety.

Ghana is one of the few African countries that have allowed the introduction of GM foods. Currently, field trials of modified rice and cowpeas as well as cotton are underway in the Ashanti and Northern regions respectively.

Genetic modification refers to techniques used to manipulate the genetic composition of an organism by adding specific useful genes. These useful genes could make crops high-yielding, disease resistant or drought-resistant.

Source: Starrfmonline.com


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