Food Sovereignty Ghana

A grass-roots food advocacy movement of Ghanaians both home and abroad!

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August 6, 2014
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GMO supporters silence debate

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By Food Sovereignty Ghana, Wednesday, 6th August, 2014

On August 7 the University of Cape Coast is hosting a forum on GMOs. This is not a genuine debate, but a collection of speakers who are all invested in the pro-GMO biotechnology industry through their careers and their education. They are not neutral or objective observers and will present only one side of the debate. They are not interested in finding the truth, unlike genuine scientists, and do not want to allow any opinions but their own.

The organizers will call these forums they organize neutral platforms to facilitate intellectual discourse. They will then present an entirely one sided roster of speakers and censor any actual intellectual debate. If called out on this flagrant prevention of any actual discussion or debate, they behave puzzled and hurt, like they don’t understand why anyone would be annoyed.

The speakers are all closely associated with the donors who are promoting GMOs into Ghana. Donors play the critical role in introducing GMOs into African countries.

“[T]hey fund research projects and pay staff salaries, they create and support regulatory institutions, they dictate research priorities and direction, and they construct and fund promotional campaigns. While the money comes from elsewhere, intellectual allies in [Ghana] carry out most of the work: research scientists and lobbyists become enrolled in the campaign for biotechnology, advancing the interests of donors who fund their salaries and programs. These organic intellectuals serve the interests of the dominant class to which they belong, acting as ideological deputies who facilitate and enable the consolidation of the hegemonic project by generating widespread consent and collapsing society’s general interests with their own … In this way ‘a particular ideology… born in a highly developed country, is disseminated in less developed countries, impinging on the local interplay of combinations’.

While multilateral organizations (such as the World Bank) and philanthropic organizations (such as the Gates Foundation) all play significant roles in sustaining the consensus towards GM, USAID is, by far, the most important actor funding, coordinating, and advancing the interests of the biotechnology bloc.”

The lead organization in this donor driven GMO push is USAID working with the Program for Biosafety Systems, PBS.

“PBS is an IFPRI-managed program (International Food Policy Research Institute), formed in 2002 and funded through USAID’s Collaborative Biotechnology Initiative (CABIO).” They operate in a number of African countries targeted by the biotechnology agribusiness industry as insertion points for GMOs into Africa. Ghana is one of these targeted countries. In Ghana, keep in mind, “USAID is, by far, the most important actor funding, coordinating, and advancing the interests of the biotechnology bloc.” USAID has been tasked by the G8 to promote GMOs into Ghana in the guise of The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Ghana.

According to a new working paper published by the World Policy Forum, the approach and objectives of the G8 New Alliance, G8NA, are highly problematic. The initiative serves as an enforcing mechanism for corporate driven blueprints for agriculture and sidelines national plans and international standards. It is dominated and tailored towards the interests of big corporate actors and is based on a reductionist approach of agricultural “development”. And lastly, the G8NA is poorly institutionalized and disregards fundamental principles of transparency participation and accountability.

We have seen how little the GMO proponents want any participation from citizens, and want no accountability to the public in Ghana with the way legislation such as the Plant Breeders Bill has been pushed through Parliament.
During the G8NA introduction of GMOs into Uganda, when articles in the Uganda press pointed out some of the unpleasant truths about GMOs, at first scientists wrote their own counter articles. Then the “PBS’ Coordinator felt these knee-jerk responses were a mistake, … ‘it becomes a debate and we don’t want that’”.

The same is true in Ghana. The pro-GMO position is they do not want a debate. Remember that, pro-GMO interests do not want debate. Just as independent testing of GMOs is prohibited by contract and therefore by law, pro-GMO interests don’t want debate because it may reveal unpleasant truths.

These forums were set up precisely to avoid any genuine debate. In the three day forum in July sponsored by GAAS only one speaker was not a supporter of GMOs. The rest of the speakers were uniformly in support of GMOs. No speaker discussed the needs of the farmers, and farmers were not permitted to speak. One scientist speaking said no one would want their children to be farmers.

The August 7 forum appears to be more of the same, a one sided presentation masquerading as debate.

Agriculture scientists depend on agribusiness and the donor organizations for their education and project funding. If they don’t support GMOs where will they find employment? The government needs agricultural expertise, but as recent events reveal, the government has no money. So we don’t blame the scientists for clinging to the hope that GMOs give them. That does not change the fact that we need to hear more voices and need a balanced debate.

When will Ghanaian farmers, consumers and citizens be heard!

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!


Jason Tutu
Communications Lead, FSG

Email: <info@foodsovereigntyghana.org>, 
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana 

All quotations come from a study of how genetically modified crops are inserted into African markets, done in Uganda by Matthew A. Schnurr, and published in the:Journal of Peasant Studies, vol. 40, 2013
Biotechnology and bio-hegemony in Uganda: Unraveling the social relations underpinning the promotion of genetically modified crops into new African markets pp 639-658
Corporate influence through the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa
Working paper
Author: Wolfgang Obenland
Published by Global Policy Forum/Brot für die Welt/MISEREOR
Aachen/Berlin/Bonn/New York, August 2014
ISBN 978-3-943126-18-1
Download the Working Paper
http://bit.ly/1uNLuNK
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ECOWAS Leaders

July 11, 2014
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Civil society organisations condemn approval of EPAs by ECOWAS Leaders

Press Release

ECOWAS Leaders

The Economic Justice Network of Ghana (EJN), unequivocally condemns, the decision of the West African leaders to approve the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. This decision, taken at 45th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on July 10 2014 in Accra, runs counter to the long standing views and positions expressed by several groups of stake-holders and ordinary citizens and corroborated by institutions of high repute such as the United Nations and the African Union. Faith-based organisations, trade unions, farmer-based organizations, women groups and private sector players have repeatedly demonstrated over the years that the EPA are against the fundamental developmental needs and imperatives of the economies of West Africa.

Judging by the terms and provisions in the text approved by the Heads of State, EPA will lead to the collapse of the domestic manufacturing and other productive sectors due to undue pressure from the subsidized goods from Europe and loss of revenue from trade taxes. The agreement also commits the Sub-region to have developed, within 6 months of its adoption, a road map and modalities for an agenda of further liberalisation and deregulation of a whole range of areas – such as Services, Investment, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property and even other areas that have never been part of the EPA negotiating agenda, such as Capital Accounts, none of which are required by any international rule or obligation undertaken by the government.

The cumulative effect of all these will be to take away ability of West African governments to deploy the range of policy instruments that are critically needed for development in our Region.

Furthermore the agreement subjects the dynamics of West Africa’s internal regional trade and development, as well as its relationship with the other regions of Africa and the South to the imperatives of its dealing with the European Union. It is sad for the West African leader to make mockery of our own regional integration agenda by this decision.

All these negative consequences inflicted on West Africa are in return for a paltry aid promised by the European Union, as well as an attempt to save a few groups of exporters, when indeed credible alternatives exist which could have addressed the concerns and needs of all stake-holders.

This agreement cannot be accepted by the ordinary men and women of this country who struggle daily in the midst of the precarious economic situation. Citizens should call upon their elected representatives in Parliament to demonstrate due leadership when this inimical agreement is presented to Parliament for ratification.

For further clarification contact the following: Sylvester Bagooro (TWN-Africa) on 0269613132; Edward Kareweh (GAWU) on 0244 529484; Bernard Anaba (ISODEC) on 0244584565; Ibrahim Akalbila (GTLC) on 0509610294;

Issued by the Economic Justice Network, Ghana on 11th July 2014

July 4, 2014
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Atikpo Flails Away, Never Lands A Blow On Shiva

IMG_9790By Food Sovereignty Ghana
Dr. Atikpo and OFAB appear brilliant at building straw men to argue against and tear down with much ferocity.  Unfortunately they do not address the points made by Dr. Shiva regarding GMOs.  They do not address the real dangers of GMOs to Ghana or to the people who live here.  Nor do they address the expressed concerns of Ghanaian farmers and citizens.  They ignore Ghanaians who care about the sovereignty and independence of our beloved Ghana.

Dr. Atikpo and OFAB claim that GMOs are not toxic.  There are two aspects to the question of toxicity. Dr. Atikpo addresses neither of them and instead batters away at her straw man.  We know very little about GMOs themselves because the corporations that own the patents do not permit independent testing. What effects GMOs have on our bodies, what effects they may have over time or that may be inherited through us to successive generations, are not known.

The effects GMOs may have on the environment, on the plants, animals, soil, water, air, have not been explored.  The evidence we have so far is not reassuring.  The corporations that own the GMO patents work very hard to keep them from being researched or becoming known.   They are so afraid of potential problems that they do not even want GMO products labelled GMO.  This is the true anti-science position.

The extreme and known toxicity of GMOs is due to GMO plants being pesticide plants. GMO plants are saturated with pesticides. GMO crops vastly increase the use of pesticides. Even though the corporations holding GMO patents try to hide and obscure this fact, much is known about the toxic effects of pesticides.

GMO crops are genetically engineered to have pesticide such as Bt in every cell of the plant, or to absorb huge amounts of applied herbicides without being killed. When we consume the plants, or eat animals that consume the plants, we consume quantities of these pesticides that can injure our heart, lungs, organs, nerves, digestion, blood, skin, immunity, and sexual function and development.

When you eat a genetically modified food crop you are eating pesticides. When you wear genetically modified fibre you have toxin resting on your skin.

Research is piling up showing just how deadly these chemical cocktails can be on all the systems of our bodies, on the growing bodies of our children, and on the development of our unborn babies. Allergies, diseases, birth defects, damages to all the organ systems of the body, even autism have been linked to toxic pesticides.  GMOs are designed in the laboratory so that they require these chemicals in order to grow.  Do you want these chemicals sprayed and spread through Ghana, on our food and on our families?  Does your MP want you fed and sprayed with pesticides?

GMOs threaten Ghana’s independence as a nation.  Dr. Shiva warned us that GMOs mean seed colonization and seed slavery.  This is the massive looming threat that Dr. Atikpo and OFAB completely ignore.  The straw men they build and attack so vigorously are constructed to hide this massive danger.  Dr. Atikpo and her cronies are dishonest about the toxicity of GMOs, and try to use the toxicity issue to distract our attention away from the GMO threat to our freedom and the GMO theft of our seed DNA heritage.

The Plant Breeders Bill is part of a foreign corporate plan developed by the G8 and engineered by USAID to control all of Ghana’s agriculture.  Parliament has met with the Americans and ignored Ghanaians.

So far Ghana’s Presidents and MPs of both the dominant political parties are going along with this plan. The long term intention of these corporations is that every seed that is planted in Ghana will be owned by the giant agribusiness corporations.  They will own the intellectual property rights to every seed.  Farmers will have to buy seeds from them for whatever they want to charge.  In India seed prices have risen as much as 8000%.  Farmers who save seeds will have to pay royalties to corporations if they want to plant their saved seeds.

The Agribusiness corporations can take the DNA, the germplasm of Ghana’s seeds into their laboratories, patent the seeds, and then charge Ghanaian farmers for the same seed germplasm Ghanaians have painstakingly developed over decades and centuries.  This is biopiracy.  Ghanaian seed breeders will be left out.  They do not have the resources to compete with the multinational corporations.

The Plant Breeders Bill puts the multinational corporations above the laws of Ghana, making it impossible for Ghana’s government to protect our agricultural wealth from these predators or protect our farmers and citizens from their predations.

With the Plant Breeders Bill enacted, only those seeds produced and sold by foreign corporations will be available to plant.  The rich diversity of Ghana’s crops and seeds, our best protection against climate change, will be lost.  Our food supply, what we eat and whether we eat, even the use of our water and soil, will be at the mercy of foreign corporations.  The decisions of those corporations are based on how much money and resources they can extract from Ghana.  Whether we live or die is a matter of indifference to them.  That is what Dr. Shiva means by colonization and seed slavery.  Do we want colonization and slavery returning to Ghana’s shores?

The only constituencies supporting the Plant Breeders Bill are the MPs that seem determined to pass it regardless of how it impacts Ghana, the American Embassy, and some Ghanaian academics and researchers whose funding is likely to depend on the GMO agribusiness corporations. Based on all their public utterances, Ghana’s MPs have done nothing to address the concerns in the various petitions to Parliament regarding the Plant Breeders Bill.   Short of massive national and international attention, they may go ahead and pass the Bill!  They appear to us to be completely ignoring Ghana’s best interests and Ghanaian public opinion.

If your MP is thinking of voting for the Plant Breeders Bill, if your MP ignores Ghanaians and votes for the Plant Breeders Bill, you do not want that person representing you in Parliament. When the announcement was made in Parliament during the sitting on Thursday, 19th June, by the 1st Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ebow Burton-Oduro, Hon. Musaka Mubarak, NDC MP for Asawaso, and Majority Chief Whip, rose to his feet to declare that the Committee would present an “oral report”. Is our Parliament trying to tell Ghanaians, they do not even need to properly let us know whether or not the petitions make any sense to them? And if not why? Is our Parliament trying to tell Ghanaians, they do not even need to properly let us know whether they hear the petitions or respect the petitioners?” Contact your MP and tell them to defeat the Plant Breeders Bill!

OUR FOOD UNDER OUR CONTROL!
For Life, The Environment, and Social Justice!

Jason Tutu
Member, Communications Department
Food Sovereignty Ghana.
Contact: 0540113569
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

Lobby bills

June 23, 2014
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RED ALERT! URGENT! PLANT BREEDERS’ BILL: We need your help!

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 RED ALERT! Dear Friends, Brothers & Sisters of the great African family! We need your help! – Food Sovereignty Ghana https://t.co/INCWKoeeZN

Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters of the great African family! We need your help!

The Parliament of Ghana is moving to the Consideration Stage in the Passage of the #‪#‎PlantBreedersBill‬, aka “Monsanto Law”, which places the rights of the Plant Breeder, over and above the laws of Ghana.

Despite several appeals (examples: by CSOs: https://t.co/5LRWDx1AyT NGOs: https://t.co/s1H8Xudfxv FBOs: https://t.co/7yjCfUN7o5), for further public awareness and consultations with stake-holders, our Parliamentarians remain keen to pass the Bill whilst Ghanaians are watching football! ‪#‎WorldCup‬

From all their public utterances, which do nothing to address the concerns in the various petitions to Parliament, short of a massive national and international attention, they may go ahead and pass the Bill!

The Government of Ghana is under intense pressure from the ‪#‎GMO‬ Lobby to IMPOSE genetically modified foods into our food chain. There is equally a strong public push-back, resentment, and awareness of what is going on!

The issue is being keenly contested, with MPs adamant despite public outcry. Latest reports portend to a dismissive “oral” report to Parliament on the petitions, and a rapid passage of the Bill, possibly before the end of the on-going World Cup tournament in Brazil!

Food Sovereignty Ghana has been wondering how they are going to pull this off. And by sharing this and helping to create more public awareness, local and international, you would be helping our cause for food sovereignty, not only in Ghana, but in Africa, and the world as a whole!

Thank you for your kind attention and solidarity.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Social Media Outreach, FSG
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

Kwesi Pratt, Shiva Forum

June 23, 2014
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“GMOs And Plant Breeders’ Bill – Let’s Apply Common Sense!” – Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.

 



Food Sovereignty and Farmers’ Rights: Public Forum with Dr. Vandana Shiva, 9th June, 2014, Accra, Paloma Hotel.

BEGIN:

Mr. Yaw Opoku (YO, MODERATOR) : My good friend has come, let me give it to him. I am sure he does not need introduction. Mr. Kwesi Pratt has been my friend, you always say what I need to say in addition, but I think I can say for one thing, he has become the conscience of the nation. Any time you hear him on the radio, he tries as much as possible to make a presentation of the situation that exists down there. So for me, I think he has taken the position of what he represents and what we do. Let me give it to him.

Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., (KP): Chairperson, Dr. Vandana Shiva, distinguished friends. We were expecting Dr. Shiva yesterday and we kept getting the news that she’s coming, no, she’s not coming. I’ve had more than 15 calls, some saying she’s coming, others saying she did not come or will not come. Finally she’s here and we are very happy to have her in our midst. At the very least, her presence will stimulate discussion, will enable us, once again, to start thinking about our today, and our tomorrow.

And I’m very, very happy to be here.

I have no doubt at all that a vast majority of the people did not come here to listen to me. They came to listen to Dr. Vandana Shiva. And I will not continue the way I usually continue. As you all do know, I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not an agronomist, I’m not a herbologist, I’m nothing. But when it comes to what we eat, and how we get what we eat, and how to make sure tomorrow we eat, there’s a lot common sense in it. And I think that the common sense things are far more important than, sometimes, the very research and the very high faluting statements that we get.

I intend to invite all of us to apply common sense this afternoon, just common sense. Now, by applying common sense this afternoon, we need to realize that we are where we are as a people, as Ghanaians, as Africans, as citizens of the world, because of some things that have happened in the past. One of the things that happened in the past that puts us where we are today is the fact of slavery. The fact that other citizens were made to work for other as beasts of burden for several years.

One of the reasons why we are here is the fact of classical colonialism. The fact that our resources were exploited for the benefit of others, and not our people. The fact that other cultures were imposed by us, that we were made to eat in ways that were alien to us is one of the reasons that we are here today. And this should become important sounding post in the discussion that we have today.

Now, we are an independent nation, or so we are told. Now this is an independent nation that is importing fish. This is an independent nation that is importing tomatoes. This is an independent nation that has to spend in excess of 600 million dollars every year to get rice to eat. This is an independent nation that is looking to other nations for its defence. What is the value of this independence when we are so dependent on others for our food, for our defence, and for everything? What is the value of this independence? This is the crucial question.

One of my friends used to put it very simply. That if you have your mouth in another person’s kitchen, you cannot say what you want to say. If your mouth is in another person’s kitchen and another person is feeding you! And for me, this is the path for our discussion today.

We’ve spoken about GMOs, we’ve spoken about Plant Breeders’ Bill and so on. Bottom line: how does that help us to control our ability to grow food, and to feed ourselves, and to eat what we want? Now, if you have a situation where every year your farmers have to look abroad to buy seeds, and the seeds they plant cannot produce fruits which can be replanted, you have become a dependent nation. Simple. Common sense. It’s not difficult. So if you are going to take control of our lives, we need to take control of our seeds….

We need to be able to produce our own seeds and to grow them. And we cannot allow the availability of seeds to be subject to the philosophy that says that the maximization of profit should determine everything. You cannot have that situation. So it is important for us to develop our own seeds and to grow our own seeds and so on.

I cannot talk about the science of the production of GMOs, perhaps in much the same way that Yaw Opoku, or Dr. Shiva, can talk about GMOs.
But I know that science has gone crazy many times in our history. Science has produced things that has turned into Frankensteins and so. So it is important for us to be cautious when we are introducing new things whose consequences we cannot determine. Just caution. It’s just worthwhile!

Think a little. Reflect a little. It is not a problem. I do not understand why there is this huge rush in to GMOs, as if our current methods of farming and so on is responsible for our poverty, and is responsible for our underdevelopment. What is responsible for our poverty and underdevelopment is not our current methods of farming and so on, but the capitalist system which ensures that people can only eat if somebody can make a profit.

If somebody is not going to make a profit then we should not eat. That is the problem! The world has enough resources to feed all of us ten times over. We are not being fed ten times over simply because of the controls of the resources of this earth by the 1% which have become so dictatorial and so greedy. That is the problem. So GMO is not an answer to the problems of capitalism. It can never, never, never become an answer to capitalism. What is the answer to the current state of inequality and underdevelopment, the real answer, is the people’s struggle to build a new society based on the foundations of {…}, and the commitment of people to build a society where nobody will go to bed on an empty stomach. That is the solution and not GMOs.

As I indicated earlier, I bow to Dr. Shiva, she is the one we all want to listen to, and I hand over the microphone.

ENDS
You may also watch the entire video here: Video: Dr. Vandana Shiva In Accra #1. Public Forum | Food Sovereignty Ghana http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/video-dr-vandana-shiva-in-accra-1-public-forum/
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June 21, 2014
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Halt the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill! – Religious Bodies

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FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS’ POSITION ON THE PLANT BREEDERS’ BILL AND GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS IN ACCRA ON 19TH JUNE 2014

On the 19th of June 2014 Faith-Based Organizations, in collaboration with Action Aid Ghana, Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development and Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana with sponsorship from STAR-Ghana, met at the National Secretariat of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference to discuss the current debate on the Plant Breeders’ Bill and the Genetically Modified Organisms. The session brought together diverse Faith-Based Organizations including; Office of the National Chief Imam, National Catholic Secretariat, Federation of Muslim Women of Ghana, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Ghana Muslim Mission, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Religious Bodies Network for Climate Change, Marshallan Relief and Development Services and Ahlussuna Wal Jama’a. We hereby state that our position on the debate has become necessary due to the importance of agriculture in the Ghanaian economy and the negative implication of Plant Breeders’ Bill and GMOs to the Ghanaian food sovereignty.
As key stakeholders in the democratic processes in Ghana with a large following that cut across ethnic, social and political divides across the country, we resolved and agreed on the following for consideration by Parliament:

Our Concerns
1. Many Ghanaians are not aware of or understand what is contained in the Plant Breeders’ Bill. There has not been adequate public education and consensus on the Bill. We are alarmed by attempts by Parliament to pass the Bill without adequate consultation with key stakeholders including the Faith-Based Organizations. Citizens of the diverse faiths constitute over 90% of the Ghanaian population.
2. We are interested in issues of agriculture and this is manifested through the several investments the FBOs have made in agricultural projects across the country. Our practical experience in working in the agricultural sector indicate that Ghana’s dwindling food production cannot be attributed to our non-usage of GMO technologies but due to poor access roads to farms, lack of credit, unavailability of ready market, lack of storage facilities and agricultural processing. We therefore suggest to Government and Parliament to redirect efforts and resources in these areas rather than falling for cheap and quick fix solutions that have the potential of compromising the future of our constituents and the danger of Ghana losing her right to food sovereignty to multi-national companies.
3. The speed at which Government and Parliament are running with the Plant Breeders’ Bill which will lead to the legitimization of GMOs leaves much to be desired.

We therefore make the following recommendations in the interests of the Ghanaian public and our hardworking farmers:

1. We suggest Parliament suspends the passage of the Bill in its present state till there is adequate public information on the pros and cons of the Bill.
2. We call for the withdrawal of the current Bill to allow for in-depth analysis and to build national consensus. We further call for the redrafting of the Bill to address the concerns of interest groups such as farmers, local seed producers, local researchers and consumers.
3. We encourage Parliament to assume a non-partisan approach in engaging with stakeholders who have concerns on the Bill.
4. We call on the President of the Republic, as a matter of urgency, to intervene in halting the passage of the Bill till there is clarity. Should Parliament proceed to pass the current Bill, we further call on the President to exercise his prerogative of refusing assent to it in the interest of Ghanaians and his personal vision of encouraging home grown solutions.

Released by
1. National Catholic Secretariat of Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NCS/GCBC) – 0244318807
2. Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) – 0262937184
3. Marshallan Relief and Development Services (MAREDES) – 0244366622
4. Federation of Muslim Women of Ghana (FOMWAG) – 0244881009
5. Ghana Muslim Mission (GMM) – 0200995717
6. Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission of Ghana (AMM-G) – 0244863931
7. Religious Bodies Network for Climate Change (RELBONET) – 0244023542 / 0244616768.
8. Ahlussuna Wal Jama’a (ASWAJ) – 0244023542
9. Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) – 0244212796

June 18, 2014
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“We should all call on the President @JDMahama to “cut them to size”, where it matters most!”

Mahama unnamed

Screenshot from 2014-06-18 02:17:39

June 18, 2014
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Dr. Aktipoe: “Who is funding your research?”

“I want to talk about the Plant Breeder’s Bill!” – Dr Margaret Ottah Attipoe

A Press Conference organized by Food Sovereignty Ghana last week Tuesday was almost sabotaged by Dr Margaret Ottah Attipoe of Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research on the grounds that she had something to say on the Plant Breeders Bill and GMOs!

The press conference which was organised by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa in collaboration with Food Sovereignty Ghana, on the theme: “Food Sovereignty and farmers’ rights”, sought to meet the press and give the opportunity for Dr. Shiva to put her message across. on the need to prevent the promotion of genetically modified (GM) foods, and to resist the Plant Breeders’ Bill.

Dr. Aktipoe is not a journalist. She was naturally not invited to the Press Conference. FSG announced both the Press Conference and the Public Forum with the same level of publicity. Dr. Aktipoe could have taken advantage of the Public Forum to engage Dr. Shiva. She rather chose to simply walk in into a Press Conference scheduled for Dr. Shiva, and to insist on hijacking the Press Conference to talk about GMOs and the Plant Breeders Bill!

This is a busy-body that is beyond the call of duty! The unruly behaviour is a shame to the CSIR which continues to see nothing wrong with her misdeeds! Her attempt to misrepresent Dr. Shiva was roundly answered. These people are clearly alarmed at the stature of Dr. Shiva and seek to present her as only being a philosopher.

Just before her arrival, another article, published by Professor Josephine Nketsia-Tabiri, in which she falsely claimed that “Shiva has repeatedly claimed academic qualifications that do not apparently exist. She always refers to herself as Dr and mentions her PhD in physics – yet actually her doctorate was in philosophy, attacking a branch of quantum physics”.

Dr. Aktipoe must have only attended the Press Conference with a view to disrupt it. In the end, she ended up disgracing herself! She could not pronounce what even secondary students know: the word “philosopher”! She said “philosophist”

Here are the exact accusations Dr. Aktipoe made against Food Sovereignty Ghana on  Joy News At Six, Sunday, 13th October, 2013:

Transcript of Joy News At Six, Sunday, 13th October, 2013. Listen to the audio recording of the programme here:

and here:

JEFFERSON SACKEY: It’s six o’clock. Good morning and welcome to Joy News at six. This bulletin is live from our studios here at Joy 99.7fm in Accra, also live on LoveFM in Kumasi, as well as on my Joyonline.com… Coming up, President Mahana… And also CSIR dismisses fers raised by Food Sovereignty Ghana that consumption of genetically modified food could be harmful to one’s health…

My name is Jefferson Sackey, the details of the news now…
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is dismissing fears raised by advocacy movement, Food Sovereignty Ghana, that the consumption of genetically modified foods could be harmful to one’s health.

The movement yesterday, marched through the principal streets of Accra, to put pressure on the government to halt on-going processes to introduce GM foods into the country.

These fears are that its consumption could cause kidney dysfunction, as well as cancer tumours and others.

Duke Tagoe is the Deputy Chairperson of Food Sovereignty Ghana:

DUKE TAGOE: There are many scientific experiments which have been conducted, and most of them are bringing us so much evidence which shows that GM foods have some negative side-effects on human beings.

They are taking place in Europe, in America, in Asia, in Latin America! Everywhere GM foods have been cultivated, people are suffering!

Only recently, a farmer in Burkina Faso, has reported to the BBC that after the cattle went to graze or to feed on a previously cultivated GM Bt cotton field, some of these cattle started dying, which means that there are problems with GM foods.

JEFFERSON SACKEY: Duke Tagoe there. Well, he is the Deputy Chairperson of Food Sovereignty Ghana.

Well, GM foods are produced from seeds that have had their genetic make-up tampered with through the introduction of genes from non-related organisms using lab…

Dr. Margaret Attipoe of the CSIR tells the Joy News that their fears are unfounded:

MARGARET ATTIPOE: The activists, anti-GM activists, have to tell you something to frighten you. It is the fear, you know, that scares people off.

People are writing all kinds of things. There was a study recently, and when authorities from the field of genetic modifications and genetic engineering looked at it from different countries, they came out publicly to tell the whole world that it has no merit.

This is what people are doing. I know, and I have information from all over the place, there are people behind these people, who are being paid and giving them money to talk against GM foods without having concrete information about the technology and the modalities involved.

Sometimes what they come out with is just outrageous.

JEFFERSON SACKEY: D. Margaret Attipoe is with the CSIR.

And look at her rather pathetic behaviour here: