March 4th, 2015 | by Amando Flavio
A Fast Track High Court in the capital, Accra ruled in favor of FGS that the production and sale of GMOs cowpeas and rice in Ghana is illegal and should be stopped with immediate effect.
FSG sued the National Bio-safety Committee set up by the Ghanaian government and Ghana’s Ministry of Agriculture last year in a bid to prevent them from releasing and commercializing genetically modified cowpeas and rice. But before the court gives it ruling on the matter, Ghana began releasing and commercializing GM foods in a very controversial way.
The court said the Agriculture Ministry cannot approve the sale of GM foods until it rules on the case brought before it by FSG.
According to the FSG, the Ghanaian government cannot go ahead to implement the process for genetically modified foods since it has failed to comply with the provisions of the main Bio-safety Act.
Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety which in part requires parties to promote public awareness and education regarding the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms. The agreement also requires parties to consult the public on decisions regarding food bio-safety.
Lawyer of FSG, George Tetteh Wayo commended the court for upholding the Rule of Law in the West African country, urging the Ghanaian government to create public awareness of GM foods before commercializing it.
“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,” he told the press after the ruling.
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 of the country.
There were lots of debates about GMOs when a bill seeking to introduce the Plant Breeders Right Bill (PBRB), which protects the rights of scientists and corporations to seeds or crops, developed for Ghana was laid before the Ghanaian Parliament. For the crops in question, the country will have to depend on certified seeds invented by multi-national and other GMO seed producers, thus surrendering Ghana’s food sovereignty to individuals and organizations in the developed world.
Civil Society groups and anti-GMOs campaigners protested publicly, warning members of parliament and the government never to pass the PBRB which will allow GMOs into the country.
But the Ghanaian Parliament somehow managed to pass the bill through the floor of parliament which many independent observers say was done without taken into consideration the concerns raised by some section of the Ghanaian public.
Genetic modification refers to techniques used to alter the genetic composition of an organism by adding specific useful genes. These useful genes could make crops high-yielding, disease resistant or drought-resistant.
The process used to alter the organism is known as genetic engineering. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.
Bill Gates Developing GMO Banana to Combat Global Hunger: Oh! really
Babylon USA’s satanic plan to pollute global food systems : African Food Experts Slam US Human GM Banana Trials: These trials funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are being carried out under the leadership of Dr. Wendy White of the Iowa State University, on 12 young students, with the intention of introducing the GM banana first in Uganda and later, to other countries in East Africa. The GM banana, currently undergoing field trials in Uganda, was developed by scientists at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, similarly also funded by the Gates Foundation.
Ghana Temporarily Bans GMO Commercialization
Will the ban stick?
Posted on March 5, 2015
Though the case will still be reviewed by high courts in Ghana, Judge Kwadwo Yeboah ruled for a temporary halt on any further commercialization and development of GMOs until the case submitted by plaintiffs Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) against the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and the National Biosafety Committee is concluded.
The case was heard February 17th and the court adjourned until March 3 in order for His Lordship Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah to review documents requested by the court in lieu of verbal presentations in court.
In true biotech style, The Attorney General’s (AG) representative requested that the court join the National Biosafety Authority as well as the AG’s department to the case as 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.
Food Sovereignty Ghana is a grass-roots movement of Ghanaians, home and abroad, dedicated to the promotion of food sovereignty in Ghana. FSG still maintains that:
“. . . the National Biosfety Committee has unlawfully been operating in the place of a National Biosafety Authority and is in clear breach of the provisions of the Biosafety Act 2011 Act (831), as regards the need for public awareness and participation in decisions affecting the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment.”
It has taken over four years of active petitioning for the court to hear the evidence presented by FSG. Hopefully, the ban will continue after the court adjourns and makes a decision April 2.
If so, Ghana would join countries as diverse as Thailand, Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, and Australia that have also banned GMOs, among many others. Could it be looking to Kyrgyzstan,which decided to become one of the first countries in the world to ban all GMO crops as well as the sale and importation of genetically modified organisms? Perhaps allowing citizens to enjoy better reproductive, cellular, and digestive health while the environment evades millions more pounds of pesticides is a leading factor for the ban.
Joining the trend of other Asian countries to ban GMOs, with China’s recent refusal of 8 different shipments of GMO corn and the nation of Bhutan also going 100% organic, the tide seems to be turning for Monsanto and biotech monopolies who would push herbicide-‘resistant’ seed on the world.
Ugandans fight GMO Bio-terrorism : Mbale farmers protest against GMOs
Ugandans need a law that bans GMOs, not one that promotes them
GMO technology will enslave generations of Uganda farmers
The day Uganda Scientists exposed their hypocrisy and naivety about globalization and the GMOs in Uganda: Academics, activists clash over GMO bill
Can GMOs achieve food sovereignty for Uganda?
Battle over Mosanto’s GMOs in Uganda : Civil society petition EALA over biosafety Bill
Uganda GMO suicide bill: Open letter to MPshttp://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/12/uganda-gmo-suicide-bill-open-letter-to.html
Uganda NGOs, lecturers in trouble over GMOs
Makerere don warns on GMOs
Publish Date: Jun 27, 2013