Food Sovereignty Ghana

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

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June 24, 2015
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The ARIPO PVP Protocol is a tool for the foreign takeover of Ghana’s agriculture

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Ghanaian citizens have so far prevented the passage of the Plant Breeders Bill, a UPOV-91-compliant law that would strip Ghanaian farmers of their rights to their own seeds. But there is worse coming from the African Regional Intellectual Property Association (ARIPO). To Ghana’s great credit, and despite determination and pressure from the G7, USAID and its contractors, despite the willing and enthusiastic cooperation of Ghana’s Ministers, Attorney General, and both major political parties, Ghana has refused to pass a farmer destroying, sovereignty busting, UPOV law.

Ghanaian farmers and citizens are not falling for the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) con. The G7, USAID, Big Agribusiness, and Ghana’s government and academic elites intend to go around the democratic process and force an end to Ghana’s agricultural sovereignty.

If they can’t pass a UPOV law within the country, they will impose it from outside. At the African Regional Intellectual Property Association (ARIPO) Diplomatic Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, this coming Monday, 29th June to 1st July 2015, ARIPO plans to adopt the highly contested draft ARIPO Plant Variety Protection Protocol (ARIPO PVP Protocol), based on UPOV 1991.

This is clearly an undemocratic attempt to smuggle the obnoxious UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders’ Bill through the back door! Ghana’s farmers and citizens demand seed sovereignty, and clearly oppose GMOs and the deadly chemicals that are an integral part of commercial GMOs. The agribusiness corporations are chemical corporations. So they breed seeds that require you to buy and use their chemicals. This is unhealthy and piles debt on farmers. It takes money from the hands of poor farmers, takes it out of Ghana, and gives it to western corporate shareholders.

If the draft ARIPO PVP Protocol is to be adopted without changes, ARIPO and any ARIPO member that ratifies the Protocol can join UPOV 1991. This means that any member state of ARIPO can simply side-step national consultation processes and ratify the ARIPO Protocol, and in doing so, give up its national sovereignty to a centralized decision-making authority, and further, become a UPOV 1991 member, all in one foul undemocratic swoop. It is unconscionable that Ghana’s government should have any part in this despicable subversion of democracy.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, AFSA, is of the view that the whole process of developing the draft Protocol is fundamentally flawed, has been extremely un-transparent, and thus lacks credibility and legitimacy. Farmers and civil society groups have been cut out, and denied participation.

The principal aim of the ARIPO PVP Protocol is to create a harmonized regional plant variety protection system within the region in order to give prominence to breeders and place restrictions on seed/varieties protected under such a system. Such protected varieties are bred and sold to farmers through seed companies and other private entities and government/private led subsidy agricultural programmes. The main goal is to facilitate the capturing and control of all seed so that private companies can make profits by forcing farmers to buy seed and pay royalties.

By seizing intellectual property rights to Africa’s seeds, taking African seed DNA, manipulating it in a laboratory, then claiming all rights to the seeds and their successive generations, western corporations are attempting one of the greatest thefts in human history, the theft of the entire agricultural base of all the countries of Africa.

Ghana’s government has been falling over its own feet in its attempt to pass the UPOV-91-compliant Plant Breeders Bill. It can get the same law imposed simply by ratifying the ARIPO PVP Protocol. Ghana then automatically loses sovereignty over its seeds and farms and gives up control to multinational corporations. Those governing Ghana appear to think this is a good thing.

Ghana is a primary target of the G7 sponsors of the multinational agribusiness corporations. Ghana’s government has been wooed and flattered, Ghana’s scientists have be funded and flattered, and members of the press have been feted and misinformed. A variety of trips, cash awards and contributions have helped grease the wheels of government, academia, and the press, convincing them that Big Agribusiness is the way of the future and money in the bank. This con has been going on in all the countries of Africa. The idea is to form a consensus among governing and academic elites to believe they know what is best without consulting the farmers and consumers whose lives and livelihoods depend on their decisions. In fact they quite intentionally and deliberately withhold information from farmers and citizens and cut them out of the discussions so there will be no debate.

The ARIPO PVP Protocol is a tool for the foreign takeover of Ghana’s agriculture. It is a template for the takeover of all African agriculture, seeds, farms, land, and water. It will be a grievous blunder for Ghana to participate in such a sell-out which bars even the representatives of African civil societies, such as AFSA, to attend! We are astonished that the President of Ghana is saying nothing about this instead of calling for a revision of the ARIPO PVP! Under the WTO regulations, Member States of ARIPO, many of whom are Least Developed Countries are not even obliged to put any PVP legislation in place until 2021. No one needs it in Africa except greedy foreign multinational corporations of doubtful intentions and abilities.

We strongly support AFSA’s calls that the Diplomatic Conference be postponed indefinitely, and be subjected to a thorough evidence-based impact assessment/cost-benefit analysis, taking into account the conditions prevailing within the ARIPO region as well as meaningful national consultations involving all key stakeholders, especially smallholder farmers. These demands are fully supported and required by international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Article 9(2c) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

The overwhelming rejection by Ghanaians of the UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders’ Bill, is what ought to inform the external commitments by the Mahama Administration. We find it amazing that the government is going to go to this diplomatic conference and agree to a regional treaty that is controversial nationally. It especially insensitive on the part of a constitutionally elected President of the Republic of Ghana to oversee this undemocratic procedure adopted to rob us of our sovereignty as a people. We put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the President and call on him to declare Ghana’s position for public scrutiny. Incidentally, Ghana is one of the three countries ARIPO is looking up to for leadership.

We call on the President to publicly demand the revision of the draft ARIPO PVP Protocol in order to comply with the more flexible effective sui generis requirement of TRIPS Article 27.3(b), as well as including provisions that recognise farmers’ rights and facilitate the right to food. This revision should be based on a much broader consultation process and by making use of experts from outside of the plant breeders’ rights sector.

We call on all Ghanaians determined to live in peace and in dignity, to add their voices to this call until we hear from President Mahama! There are only a few days left before Monday, when it all begins!

Work to prevent Ghana’s participation and ratification! Contact your elected officials.

Oppose the ARIPO Plant Variety Protocol!

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 249867238 / +233 207973808
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

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June 16, 2015
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GMO Case: VEGGHANA & Farmers’ Group Join Plaintiffs

 

Press Release: 16 June, 2015, by Food Sovereignty Ghana

The Human Rights division of the High Court in Accra today heard the case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and genetically modified (GM) rice in Ghana.

Today Judge Kofi Essel Mensah for the sake of time abridged the application for joinder by the Kanyan Akuafuo Kuo (KAK) from the Brong Ahafo region which was scheduled to be heard on June 16th 2015 and moved the date to the 15th June as all parties to the case were all present in court and already represented by counsel. He also granted the request for joinder by the Vegetarian Association of Ghana (VegGhana) to join the case as plaintiffs against the commercialization and development of GMO in Ghana. He cited a common position held by Vegetarians concerning the integrity of their food sources especially when some GM crops include the incorporation of animal genes as a relevant concern on their part.

Regarding the application for joinder to the case on behalf of the farmers from Brong Ahafo, counsel for the KAK Lawyer George Tetteh Wayo stated that his clients did not belong to the GNAFF who as fifth defendants in the case were clearly in favour of GMO and made a distinction between the two organizations reminding the court that the KAK would want to continue farming using the same productive methods of natural seed selection and development as their forebears had successfully done for centuries.

Last week the Judge granted The Conventions People’s Party (CPP) request to become the second plaintiffs. Also present in court today CPP Chairperson Madam Samia Nkrumah expressed disappointment that no other political party seemed to take the issue of GMO in Ghana seriously hence the lack of visibility and input from them. “Our Party is totally committed to the welfare of Ghanaians with no allegiance to any foreign interests placed above that of the nation and the issue of food security as well as the welfare of farmers who constitute a significant portion of the nation’s human resource should be something that should be of great interest to any political party that respects the opinions of the Ghanaian people”

FSG is concerned about the development of fundamental challenges in the agricultural sector of several countries that have grown GM crops commercially. Currently in Burkina Faso where GMO cotton has been grown for about five seasons, farmers are finding that the cotton is producing less yields than promised by the seed companies and lower quality fibers. In South Africa GM cotton brought devastating effects to small holder farmers and the local credit institution could not sustain its business. In Malawi the Cotton Development Trust (CDT) has publicly voiced its concerns over a number of issues, including inadequate field trials, the high cost of GM seed and related inputs as well as blurred intellectual property arrangements.

It is the contention of FSG that Modern Biotechnology is a potent and novel technology that presents unique risks. It is in recognition of this that measures have been put in place to ensure the safe handling, transport, and use of genetically modified organisms resulting from Modern Biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking into accounts risks to human health. The non-respect of these measures could lead to catastrophic consequences.

FSG is claiming that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, of which Ghana is a signatory, the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, as well as the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the National Biosafety Committee (NBC), have not been respected as regards the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for a commercial release of GM crops, as it relates to the threats by SARI “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities” as early as this year, “for distribution to farmers in the three northern regions“.

The judge directed that the original writ be amended to reflect all new parties on board within 14 days. The injunction on the release of bt cowpeas and rice remains effective and the case is further adjourned to July 8 at 9am.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour

Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 249867238/ +233 207973808

Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/

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FSG in Court 2nd April

June 9, 2015
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CPP Joins Case Against GMOs In Ghana!

The Human Rights division of the High Court in Accra today heard the case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and GM rice in Ghana.

In today’s proceedings The Convention People’s Party (CPP) represented by their counsel Mr. Bright Akwetey prayed the court to join the case as the second plaintiffs in solidarity with the position of FSG. The Judge Kofi Essel Mensah granted the request to the delight of the Party. The Vegetarian Association of Ghana had also applied to join the case however at the time the case was called, not all formalities regarding the submission of documents was complete prompting the Judge to postpone the hearing till June 15th 2015. The case still remains open to interested parties to join.

Speaking to media after the case, the Chairperson of the CPP, Madam Samia Nkrumah expressed delight at the proceedings citing the CPP’s unflinching commitment to the interests of the Ghanaian people. “We support FSG in their quest to ensure that the right thing is done as regards the rights of our farmers to have access as well as manage their own seeds as their forebears did and we owe it to future generations to preserve the integrity and serenity of our food system as well as the environment in general”

It is the contention of FSG that Modern Biotechnology is a potent and novel technology that presents unique risks. It is in recognition of this that measures have been put in place to ensure the safe handling, transport, and use of genetically modified organisms resulting from Modern Biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking into accounts risks to human health. The non-respect of these measures could lead to catastrophic consequences.

FSG is claiming that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, of which Ghana is a signatory, the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, as well as the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the National Bio-safety Committee (NBC), have not been respected as regards the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for a commercial release of GM crops, as it relates to the threats by SARI “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities” as early as this year, “for distribution to farmers in the three northern regions”.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/

FSG in Court 2nd April

June 7, 2015
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GMO Case: Court To Reconvene On June 8th

The case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and GM rice will reconvene at the Human Rights Division of the Accra Fast Track Court on Monday, 8th June 2015 at 9am. This is to correct an error in print in an earlier press release last month which stated June 11th as the next court date.

At the last hearing on May 11, 2015 the Judge Kofi Essel Mensah granted the request by counsel for the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) to join the case on the side of the defense. According to the Judge he was of the opinion that any party that wished to express its interest in the case was free to do so. It is expected that other parties will seek to join the case in line with this new development.

Since the last court appearance, FSG on May 23, 2015 joined millions of people worldwide across 6 continents, 56 countries and 452 cities including 5 countries from Africa, in the annual march against Monsanto. This year’s march was organized in collaboration with the Kanyan Akuafuo Kuo Society from the Brong Ahafo region in north central Ghana, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Vegetarian Association of Ghana. It was well attended in the two regions and marchers engaged a wide cross section of Ghanaians on the issue of GMOs.

It is the contention of FSG that Modern Biotechnology is a potent and novel technology that presents unique risks. It is in recognition of this that measures have been put in place to ensure the safe handling, transport, and use of genetically modified organisms resulting from Modern Biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health. The non-respect of these measures could lead to catastrophic consequences.

FSG is claiming that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, of which Ghana is a signatory, the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, as well as the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the National Biosafety Committee (NBC),have not been respected. Particularly in the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for commercial release of GM crops, where they relate to the threats by SARI “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities” as early as this year, “for distribution to farmers in the three northern regions”.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 249 867 238
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/

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May 24, 2015
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Hundreds March Against Monsanto in ACCRA and GOASO

COMMUNIQUE: #marchMay23
Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) joined millions of people worldwide across 6 continents, 56 countries and 452 cities including 5 countries from Africa in the annual march against Monsanto. This year’s march was organized in collaboration with the Kanyan Akuafuo Kuo Society from the Brong Ahafo region in north central Ghana, Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Vegetarian Association of Ghana.

Observing an annual ban on drumming and noise making imposed by the Ga Traditional Council, the March in Accra was silent with hundreds of participants wielding placards and marching through some of the principal streets of Accra. The second and more animated march took place at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region about 400 km north of Accra where different farming groups and organisations as well as opinion leaders joined members of Food Sovereignty Ghana to send a clear message to leadership and policy makers that the imposition of genetically modified organisms (GMO) crops on Ghanaians was absolutely unacceptable and not in the interest of Ghana’s sustainable future.


At around 7.30 am a group of early birds peacefully picketed with placards outside the show room of Dizengoff, a local supplier of Monsanto’s products located opposite The Ghanaian Times. This early photo opportunity has now made it all over the world. By 8.30 am a large gathering of anti GMO campaigners had converged at the premises of TV3 in Accra and by 9.30 am the March began in the company of a police escort. The marchers proceeded down the road to the car park of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) where the leadership were engaged in several interviews before continuing on the Ring road turning left at Nima Police station. After a brief stop at the Nima roundabout finally ending up at the Nima market where they interacted with the market women on the whole issue of GMO. Clearly the level of ignorance about GMO in the country is quite alarming given that Ghana being a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol is obliged to carry out mass education and public engagement for the general public on GMO

In Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region 400 Km north of Accra, the march commenced from the premises of Nananom FM, through Goaso’s Municipal Streets to Kukuomu Mmem T-Junction finally ending up at Goaso Market. The turnout mainly made up of farmers was very encouraging, reflective of the fact that a large section of Ghanaians are already worried about the imposition of GMO in our agriculture.

Joining the March in Accra among other celebrities and local musicians was the Chairperson of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Madam Samia Nkrumah and a strong delegation of Party stalwarts which included Prof Akosah, Party Secretary Ivor Greenstreet, Deputy Spokesperson Ernesto Yeboah, Kojo Afari, Mrs. Dede Amanor-Wilks (CPP Parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South Constituency) as well Party veterans, Aunty Lucy Annin a former MP in the Nkrumah government and Madam Borkor. Samia Nkrumah expressed delight at the manner in which the march was able to reach the grass roots and educate the masses. She cited the need for more education to counter the negative propaganda being advanced by the agribusiness lobby to impose GMO on the Ghanaian society and reminded the gathering of the CPP’s unshakable allegiance to the interest and welfare of the Ghanaian people.

Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects. Different placards communicated several messages including the following: “Vote with your cedis by buying organic” and “GMO means God Move Over”. “The WHO says Glyphosate may be carcinogenic”.

Prof Akosah a CPP senior member called on policy makers in Ghana to recognize these developments as clear red flags which should signal the need to reconsider Ghana’s need to begin growing GMO in the first place. He pointed out the fact that Ghana grows enough food to feed itself however lack of roads and storage facilities contribute to the unacceptable high post-harvest loss.

The March was very well attended and received coverage from a cross section of local as well as international media. Food Sovereignty Ghana maintains that the proposed UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders’ Bill should be abandoned and Parliament must adopt the African Union model which also meets the WTO requirements, guarantees the rights of small farmers, and does not put the entire nation at the mercy of foreign multinational corporations.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,
Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

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May 19, 2015
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MAY 23 March Against Monsanto – ACCRA and GOASO

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

MAY 23 March Against Monsanto – ACCRA and GOASO
Saturday, 23 May 2015 at 9:00 GMT

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Food Sovereignty Ghana, a food advocacy movement, hereby serves notice to embark on a public march as part of a worldwide event comprising millions of marchers. This march is being organized in collaboration with the Kanyan Akuafuo Kuo Society, and is scheduled to take place in two locations: Accra and Goaso.

There are currently over 300 marches scheduled to take place around the world.

Out of respect to the Ga Traditional Council annual ban on drumming and noise making, which always precedes the Homowo festival, we have decided to organize a silent march in Accra and a more animated one in Goaso.

The details of the march are as follows:

ACCRA:

Date: Saturday 23 May, 2015

Start Time: 9:00am

Route: From TV3 through Ring Rd through Kokomlemle to Mallam Atta Market and finally to NIma Market..

GOASO:

Date: Saturday 23 May, 2015

Start Time: 9:00am

Route: From the premises of NananomFM, through Goaso Municipal Street to Kukuomu Mmem T-Junction, to Goaso Market.

 #MarchAgainstMonsanto #Accra #Ghana

 Mission Statement

On May 23, 2015, activists around the world will, once again, unite to March Against Monsanto.

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 Why do we march?

Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects. In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interest and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GMO products. Recently, the U.S. Congress and President collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.

For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup. Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.

What are solutions we advocate for?

Vote with your cedis by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto owned companies that use GMOs in their products. Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier. Rejecting the UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders’ Bill Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs. Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc. Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets. Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly. We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,
Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

March Against Monsanto

May 12, 2015
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Court Case On GM Crops Adjourned To June 8th

ACCRA, Monday, , May 11, 2015, by Food sovereignty Ghana

The Fast Track High court in Accra today sat for the fourth hearing of the case submitted by plaintiffs Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) against the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and the National Biosafety Committee.

The Judge Kofi Essel Mensah granted the request for joinder by the Ghana National Farmer’s Association (GNAFF) as the 5th defendants in the case. Despite a spirited defense by the lawyer for the plaintiff, George Tetteh Wayo, making the case that the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) was one of national interest, he reminded the court that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is the state body with the mandate to oversee the interests of all farmers and there was no need to allow the GNAFF to join the case. He stated that the leadership of the GNAFF were pro-GMO and did not reflect the majority of its members who were not aware of the issues surrounding GMOs in Ghana.

The ruling of the judge leans towards allowing the views of all stakeholders and interested parties to this suit against the commercialization of genetically modified cowpeas and rice in Ghana.

Also present in court was the Chairperson of the CPP, Madam Samia Nkrumah who also indicated after the proceedings that the party would apply to join the case in court to ensure that Ghana does not accept the commercialization of GM foods. Representatives of farmers and Chiefs from Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region also attended the court case and expressed interest to join the case citing concerns of negative experiences broadcast on international media of farmers in foreign lands such as India, Mexico, Brazil who have grown GM crops for years.

The Attorney General’s (AG) Department and the recently launched National Biosafety Authority had on the second appearance on March 3 requested to be joined to the original suit as 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.

Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol and in accordance with its legal obligations is expected to have embarked on a widespread public education campaign to engage all stakeholders on the entire issue of GMOs before any commercialization. FSG maintains that this has not been done as most Ghanaians are only getting to learn of GMOs through reportage that emanates from the court proceedings.

The case was first heard on February 17th of this year. Food Sovereignty Ghana is a social justice-oriented civil society organisation that seeks to promote the right to good and healthy food, among others. FSG shall continue to pursue through every legal means possible to ensure that the rights of our farmers, consumers and the sanity of our environment is guaranteed as provided by our constitution.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

May 5, 2015
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Injunction on GMOs in Ghana still in effect till May 11th.

i-do-not-want-your-gmo-i-do-not-like-you-monsantoThe case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and GM rice heard at the Human Rights Division of the Accra Fast Track Court on Monday, 4th May has been set for rehearing on May 11th 2015.

In a new development the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fisherfolk (GNAFF) represented by their legal counsel requested the court to join the case on the side of the defense. The Judge Kofi Essel Mensah asked the legal counsel for the plaintiff on his position as to the application to enjoin. Lawyer Tetteh Wayo informed the judge that he was vehemently opposed to this application, and informed the court that he had only just been served with the processes that were filed on April 28th and needed time to file his affidavit in opposition.

The case was first heard on February 17th, and was greeted with a hurriedly inaugurated National Biosafety Authority (NBA) on the same day. The plaintiffs, FSG had originally sued the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) but counsel for the defendants requested the National Biosafety Authority and the Attorney-General’s Department to be joined in the suit as co-defendants.

FSG is claiming that the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, and the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the NBC, have not been respected as regards the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for a commercial release of GM crops, as it relates to the threats by SARI “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities”.

According to FSG’s lawyer Mr. George Tetteh Wayo, “The interests of the GNAFF as stakeholders in the agricultural sector could be protected by their relevant sector ministry which is that of Food and Agriculture and as defendants already on the case there would be no need to further enjoin them”.

FSG believes that the leadership of GNAFF does not represent the entirety of their organisation since many of its members are clearly opposed to the introduction of GMOs in Ghana. Policy makers in Ghana only need to examine the past experience, results and recent developments in other countries who have engaged in the growing of GMO crops to carefully inform any further decisions in the area.

The Chairperson of the CPP Madam Samia Nkrumah and other public sympathizers also appeared in court to show solidarity with FSG for their unrelenting efforts to protect the rights of our population and the integrity of the seed systems that have provided nourishment for Ghanaians over many generations.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana
http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/

 

May 3, 2015
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Injunction on GMOs: FSG Goes To Court Again!

The case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and GM rice is set to be heard at the Human Rights Division of the Accra Fast Track Court on Monday, 4th May. The case attracted a huge national and international attention when at the second hearing, His Lordship Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah reminded the defendant that until the application by the plaintiff is heard, they cannot do anything in relation to the authorisation of Bt. cowpea or GM rice until the process is over, which amounted to a temporary ban on the commercial release of GM crops until the case had been disposed of.

It would be recalled that following a series of publications in November and December of 2014, at the instance of the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) indicated to the public that SARI intended “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities next year (ie 2015) for distribution to farmers for planting in the three northern regions”.

The case was first heard on February 17th, and was greeted with a hurriedly inaugurated National Biosafety Authority (NBA) on the same day. The plaintiffs, FSG had originally sued the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) but counsel for the defendants requested the National Biosafety Authority and the Attorney-General’s Department to be joined in the suit as co-defendants.

The FSG is claiming that the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, and the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the NBC, have not been respected as regards the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for a commercial release of GM crops, as it relates to the threats by SARI “to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities”.

According to FSG lawyer Mr. George Tetteh Wayo, “We are making this petition because, unfortunately and quite alarmingly, we see serious breaches to be going on. Our main argument is that the Biosafety law in Ghana, as well as international biosafety protocols and treaties are being breached by the defendants”.

The court is likely to hear the argument from the defendants that the applicant’s motion for interlocutory injunction and the court will be looking at both affidavits and determine the relevant issues raised, whether or not to grant or dismiss the application.

So far as the FSG is concerned, the announcement by SARI for “the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities… for distribution to farmers for planting in the three northern regions” has nothing to do with confined field trials. Furthermore the inconsistency by the CSIR and the NBC as to the timeline regarding the release and commercialisation of GM rice causes great alarm. The wisest thing for the plaintiff to do is to seek an injunction until the substantive case is heard.

The hearing begins at 9.00am at the Human Rights Division of the High Court.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
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http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/