Farmers urged to ignore claims against GMOs

Business News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Fiifi Kwetey Shock

The Former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Prof. Walter Sandow Alhassan, has called on Ghanaian farmers to ignore claims against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by a section of the public.

According to him, the groups kicking against the GMOs had no tangible evidence to prove its threat to humans.

“They do not have scientific proof or knowledge to offer when it comes to GMOs technology,” he said at the 2014 launch of the biotechnology brief in Accra.

Prof. Alhassan, who is the current Director of Biotechnology and Stewardship for Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa (BSSA), said the usage of the GMO seeds in the country was a matter of choice.

“We should get away from this misinformation and try to see how we can revolutionise our agriculture and move with modern trends,” he said.

He noted that Ghana had sworn-in new members of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) on February 17, 2015 whose mandate was to receive and process applications for the commercial release of GMOs in the country.

He charged farmers to be in touch with institutions which knew about the advanced technologies in agriculture, referring to the CSIR and the universities as institutions grounded in the subject under review.

He,therefore, appealed to the government to be steadfast in supporting Ghanaian scientists in their research work by creating an enabling environment for them to operate and further equip them with the necessary research facilities, infrastructure and training to augment research work into the field of biotechnology.

The launch was organised by the Ghana Chapter of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB), in collaboration with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications and the CSIR.