Monday, 1 December 2014

Protect Ghana's Food Sovereignty - By Placing A 10-Year Ban On GMO Foods & Seeds

It is said that health is wealth. On that basis it is vital that nothing is done by officialdom to compromise the health of present and future generations of the Ghanaian people.

That is how Parliament must tackle the issue of GMO foods - against which there have been widespread agitation across the country. It is important that Parliament listens to those who raise objections to the passage of laws to permit GMO foods and seeds in Ghana.

Food  containing GMO ingredients, and the sale of GMO seeds, have been banned in a number of countries around the world. The question then is: if  nations like Russia, China and France have all banned GMO foods and seeds, why does Ghana not follow suit - and place a 10-year ban on the sale of  GMO foods and seeds in our nation?

If mice fed on GMO corn in a number of research labs, are said to have developed malignant tumours, surely a 10-year ban on GMO foods and seeds will give us sufficient time, to evaluate research results from around the world, of the effect on humans who ingest GMO foods?

We have nothing to lose in the interim - as conventional plant breeding research  that can help smallholder farmers increase their yields, can continue.

The notion that somehow large-scale agriculture will save Ghanaian agriculture is dangerous - as it leads to the marginalisation of smallholder farmers in our country, when policies are being formulated. We ignore smallholder farmers at our peril.

Smallholder farmers will continue to be the backbone of Ghanaian agriculture for a long time to come.

 Let us focus on conventional plant breeding research to improve crop varieties, instead of giving away Ghana's food soveriegnty to GMO seed multinationals, because of the mistaken belief that GMO seeds will spark a green revolution and secure the future of farming.  Advances in conventional plant breeding techniques will enable Ghanaian agriculture to survive and thrive.

Conventional plant breeding  research has led to an improvement in the nutritional status of consumers of maize, cassava, etc - and the number of such improved varieties of crops keeps growing: and will continue to do so, going forward into the future.

And high-yielding varieties of crops more suited to an era of global climate change, have also been developed through conventional plant breeding research, to help ensure food security at a time of extremes in weather, resulting from global warming.

For the sake of present and future generations of our people, let us place a 10-year ban on food containing GMO ingredients, as well as ban the sale of GMO seeds in Ghana. In so doing, we will be protecting Ghana's food sovereignty - and assuring public health in Ghana.







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