2 Join GMO Suit

Two more interest groups yesterday joined the suit against the commercialisation of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in Ghana.

They are the Vegetarian Association of Ghana and the Kanya Akuafo Association as third and fourth parties respectively.

This brings to three, the number of interest groups to join the suit after an Accra Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Kofi Essel Mensah last week admitted the Convention People’s Party (CPP) into the case.

The court, as a result, ordered George Tetteh Wayo, lawyer for the Vegetarian Association and the Kanya Akuafo, to amend the writ of sermons to include the new interest groups.

Justice Essel Mensah accordingly adjourned hearing of the case to July 8, 2015 to begin the case.

Civil society group Food Sovereignty Ghana had sued the government seeking an interim injunction on the production of GMO foods in the country.

The pressure group is asking the court to place an interim injunction on the release and commercialisation of genetically modified cowpeas and rice currently being produced.

Sections 11 and 13 of the Biosafety Law provide that ‘A person shall not conduct a contained or confined use activity involving genetically modified organisms or their development of market GM organisms without the written approval of the Biosafety Authority.”

Food Sovereignty believes that Ghanaians are constantly bombarded with news items containing false claims that the attempts to impose GM rice and beans are being done in accordance with the law, stressing that the claim is not entirely true.

Plaintiff further states that Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and that Article 23 of the Protocol requires parties, on their own and in cooperation with other states and international bodies, to promote and facilitate public awareness and education, including access to information, regarding the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms.

Food Sovereignty wants the defendants to consult the public in the decision-making process, to make public the final decision taken and to inform the public about the means of access to the Biosafety Clearing House.

Furthermore, the group wants all activities regarding GMOs to be suspended until the provisions of the Biosafety Act are fully respected.

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
[email protected]

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