Food Sovereignty Ghana

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

2014-01-28 09.40.47

April 13, 2015
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FSG Re-affirms opposition to imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians

PRESS RELEASE: 14/04/2015

The Communications Directorate of Food Sovereignty Ghana would like to re-affirm its opposition to attempts by the powers that be to impose GM foods on Ghanaians without any form of public awareness and participation in such a vital and far-reaching decision. FSG therefore remains opposed to the development and commercialization of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ghana, and Africa for that matter.

In a statement released by Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour, FSG’s Communication Director, he noted that the organisation wishes to distance itself from recent misleading utterances to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) by Mr. Kweku Dadzie, a former member, who was recently discharged from hospital in Accra. Below is the full statement:

An inaccurate report http://gbcghana.com/1.2690167 on GBC’s Radio Ghana on April 8th at approximately 2.30pm, quotes Mr. Dadzie as saying that “FSG is not against the introduction of GMO but rather against a communication gap between what the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) is doing towards the introduction of GMO’s and the implications for the public”.[sic]

It is most unfortunate that Mr. Dadzie makes such unfounded and misleading statements which apart from confusing the general public, seeks to malign the genuine efforts FSG is making in the protection of the sovereignty and integrity of Ghana’s food production system. We think that there is some mischief afoot to sow confusion and to distort our message by exploiting a sick person. We find it particularly unfortunate that the GMO lobby took ruthless advantage of Mr. Dadzie when he was just recovering from an illness.

The discerning public will recall FSG’s countless press statements as well as several public outreach activities aimed at increasing public awareness on the dangers of the imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians with its serious long term implications for human health and the environment. In line with the anti-GMOs stance taken by FSG since its inception two years ago, the organisation has been at the forefront of championing the call for more careful attention to policy-making regarding GMOs, citing many examples from abroad where the effects of GMOs on the populations have begun to take harmful effects. http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/ban-all-gm-foods-in-ghana/

FSG has been instrumental in getting other civil society groupings and religious organisations to join their call on key stakeholders in the food and agriculture industry in Ghana to reconsider the content of the proposed Plant Breeders Bill that was before Parliament. Direct meetings with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and other high level consultations contributed to the directive by the Honourable Speaker of Parliament Mr. Doe Adjaho to put the bill on hold in the House to allow for more consultations with a wider stakeholder grouping.

Most importantly and quite contrary again to Mr. Dadzie’s recent misguided statement is the fact the FSG on February 17th of this year presented a writ in the Human Rights Division of the Fast Track High Court seeking an injunction against the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and the National Biosafety Committee from further developing and commercializing GMOs in Ghana. FSG still maintains that the National Biosafety Committee has unlawfully been operating in the sense that it failed to fully respect the Biosafety Act 2011 Act (831).

It is therefore quite clear that FSG remains completely opposed to any development or commercialization of GMOs in Ghana and its actions have shown the consistency of an organisation fully understanding its obligatory social responsibility to protect the rights of small scale farmers to produce organic food from natural seed selection processes, as well as to protect the rights of consumers as guaranteed by the constitution to be fully involved in any such decision-making.

We therefore make the earnest appeal that any enquiries on FSG, its mission and objectives and subsequent activities should be channelled to the Communications Directorate. Our official website clearly shows how to contact us.

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

April 2, 2015
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Court Adjourns GMO Injunction Case To May 4

The Fast Track High Court Human Rights Division in Accra today sat for the third hearing of the case submitted by plaintiff Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) against the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and the National Biosafety Committee, the newly inaugurated National Biosafety Authority, as well as the Attorney-General’s Department.

Judge Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah who had presided over the last two hearings handed over to the original Judge assigned to the case, Judge Kofi Essel Mensah who had been on leave.The counsel for the plaintiff, Lawyer Tetteh Wayo informed the Judge that despite serving the defendants with the amended writ of summons and corrected exhibits as directed by the Court on 3rd March 2015, he had still not received any documentation from the defendants processes so filed, even though the Court seemed to have copies of processes filed by the defendants. He therefore enquired whether or not the defendant (The State) would want to proceed with the case without serving the plaintiff’s lawyer?

Judge Kofi Essel Mensah ordered the defendants to submit any affidavits in opposition to the suit within eight days and adjourned the case to May 4th 2015. He reminded the Court that the interlocutory injunction served by the plaintiff itself serves as an injunction on the defendant. This means the process itself serves as an injunction on the defendant not to proceed with any further plans to release and commercialize GMOs in Ghana and that any violation of this order would find the defendants in contempt of court.

FSG welcomed the presence of the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) Chairperson, Honourable Samia Nkrumah and her contingent of supporters and legal advisers who appeared in court to show solidarity with their noble cause. According to her the issue of Ghana’s food security cannot be left in the hands of foreign interests and should rather be in the control of our local farmers. She cited several examples of responsible decisions regarding the control of GMOs being taken by many governments abroad in the interest of their people and urged Ghanaian policy-makers to emulate such best practice. FSG wishes that other political parties would also show solidarity in the interest of Ghana’s people and her environment.

The Attorney General’s (AG) Department and the recently launched National Biosafety Authority had at the last appearance on March 3 requested to be joined to the original suit as 3rd and 4th defendants respectively. In an ironic twist on March 4th 2015, a day after the first submission of the writ, the National Biosafety Authority Board was inaugurated and advertised in the local dailies. This in hind sight seems like a preemptive attempt to make right what had been the original reason for which FSG went to court. The Legislative Instrument 1887, the Biosafety (Management of Biotechnology) Regulations, 2007, requires provision of the following: Section 14 Public awareness, participation and education; Section 15 The Biosafety Clearing House and Information; Section 16 contained use and confined field trials; Section 26 Socio-economic consideration.

Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which requires the State to embark on a widespread public education, awareness and participation campaign to engage all stakeholders on the entire issue of GMOs before any release into the environment or commercialization can take place.

The case was first heard on February 17th 2015. Food Sovereignty Ghana is a grass roots movement of Ghanaians home and abroad dedicated to food sovereignty in Ghana. FSG shall continue to pursue through every legal means possible to ensure that the rights of our farmers, consumers and the serenity of our environment as provided by our constitution is guaranteed.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate

PHOTO shows members of the FSG and sympathysers who turned up in court this morning, including Hon Samia Nkrumah, Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party, and Ghana for Agroecology.

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March 27, 2015
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PLEASE, JOIN US IN COURT!!! David Versus Goliath!

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PLEASE, JOIN US IN COURT!!!David Versus Goliath!

Do you feel like eating GMO Waakye? What about “red red” (ripe plantain…

We wish to use this occasion, to invite all and sundry, to join us at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court on Thursday, 2nd April, 2015, as we continue to seek in a lawful manner to bring about out an indefinite injunction on the commercial release of Bt. cowpeas and GM rice, scheduled for the Ghanaian market, as early as this year!

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Posted by Food Sovereignty Ghana on Friday, 27 March 2015

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March 24, 2015
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Food Sovereignty Ghana Marks Second Anniversary

Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), a grass-roots movement of Ghanaians, home and abroad, dedicated to the promotion of food sovereignty in Ghana, celebrated its 2nd anniversary on Saturday 21st March 2015.

The occasion was marked with a pilgrimage to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, where members renewed their vows to make sure that “Ghana, our beloved country, is free forever!” FSG firmly believes that the imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians is the greatest threat to our independence and sovereignty as a people.

FSG is proud of its achievements within such a short space of time, considering the limited resources, and hostile attacks orchestrated by the usual suspects. We take particular pride in the fact that, two years ago, it was difficult to talk about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), as few people knew what it was. Today, it is a house-hold word as a result of much stakeholder engagement collectively undertaken by our members and supporter groupings.

Our movement is thus particularly pleased with the overwhelming support we are currently enjoying throughout the length and breadth of the country. We are grateful to Ghanaians from all walks of life, irrespective of ethnicity, religious background, party political affiliation, and gender, who have joined hands with us in this struggle to defend the rights of future generations.

We deeply regret, however, that the level of support we are enjoying at the grass-roots is not being translated into any serious attention by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). Our call for an indefinite Moratorium or ban on the Propagation, Cultivation, Raising, and Growing of Genetically Modified Organisms in Ghana, continues to fall on deaf ears. We call on NDC cadres who place loyalty to their own health above that of loyalty to party, to join us in these demands and help put pressure on government. They are the people most likely to be listened to.

This struggle is ultimately a political one. The arena of struggle is beyond the reach of FSG, as this happens within the various political parties. We therefore call on all Ghanaians to make the imposition of GMOs on us, a high priority item in their internal political discourses. We are not happy that, with the exception of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which has come out clearly in opposition to the UPOV-compliant Plant Breeders’ Bill, and the imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians, the leadership of other political parties in Ghana remain profoundly silent.

We are however pleased that the leadership of Ghana’s faith-based organisations, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic as well as traditional African faith, are all solidly upholding the “Precautionary Principle” and putting the health and the environment of Ghanaians first, before the profits of the foreign corporations lobbying to take over our seed markets and replace our natural seeds with genetically modified ones. We salute all of them and will continue to work with them across this nation to ensure that a logical conclusion to the GMO threat is reached.

There is growing concern internationally concerning the unknown long term effects of GMOs on human health and the environment and this is reflected in recent bans and precautionary measures taken by responsible governments all across the world to limit the dangers posed to their populations. FSG continues to be inspired by responsible leadership across the world that seeks to tread cautiously with the GMO agenda. In the words of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver “I am against GMO’s for several reasons…We don’t know the health impacts of GMO in the long term”.

Finally, we wish to use this occasion, to invite all and sundry, to join us at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court on Thursday, 2nd April, 2015, as we continue to seek in a lawful manner to bring about out an indefinite injunction on the commercial release of Bt. cowpeas and GM rice, scheduled for the Ghanaian market, as early as this year!

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Director of Communications, FSG

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

FSG Prepares to go to court

March 3, 2015
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Court Orders Temporary Halt On GM Commercialization

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

The case was first heard on February 17th of this year and was adjourned till Tuesday 3rd March as the Judge, His Lordship Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah requested that all parties to the case submit written documents rather than allow verbal presentations in court.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs George Tetteh Wayo informed the court that there were some clerical omissions in one of the submitted documents and prayed the court to allow him submit the corrected copies. The judge however turned down the request and rather directed that the case be refilled to avoid any further complications.

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. Lawyer for the plaintiffs agreed with the request.

Judge Kwadwo Yeboah directed that since a request for interlocutory injunction had already been applied for by the plaintiffs, it therefore meant that there would be a temporary halt on any further commercialization and development of GMO until the case is concluded.

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.

Incidentally, after two years of pointing this out, the board of the National Biosafety Authority was inaugurated on the 17th of February this year, the same day of the first hearing in court. And four years after this has been called for under the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act (831)

The case has been adjourned to April 2, 2015 at the fast track High Court in Accra.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Communications Directorate,

FSG in court

February 17, 2015
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Food Sovereignty Ghana was in court today.

Food Sovereignty Ghana was in court today.

Photo: FSG was in court today!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Picture shows some of our members supporters, friends and Lawyer Wayo Tetteh at the High Court Accra. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Watch this space for more details...
Picture shows some of our members supporters, friends and Lawyer Wayo Tetteh at the High Court Accra.

Tuesday, 17th February, 2015

Today saw the beginning of what will likely be a landmark case regarding the future of genetically modified organisms, GMOS, in Ghana. The case filed by Food Sovereignty Ghana, FSG against the National Biosafety Committee, NBC, as the first defendant, and the Ministry of Food And Agriculture, MoFA, was called at the Human Right Division of the Fast Track High Court today, at 9.30am.

FSG was represented in court by Mr. George Tetteh Wayo, whilst the Attorney-General represented the defendants. The case was adjourned to the 3rd of March, to enable the defendants to put in their statement of case.

There was a little drama in court when the lawyer of the defendants tried to argue that because the Attorney-General had not been sued, hence they had not put in any defence. The judge then made it clear to them that it is the duty of the Attorney-General to to defend public institutions, so they have been hinted to file all necessary processes.

The judge also made it clear that there shall be less oral submissions. Both the 1st and 2nd defendants, as well as the FSG are supposed to file statements of case as well as supplementary statement of case, before the 3rd of March.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Acting Director of Communications

Communications Directorate, FSG
Email: info@foodsovereigntyghana.org
Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

y17gxk3wvr_prof_walter_sandow_alhassan

February 16, 2015
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GMOs: Whose Interests Does Prof. Alhassan Represent?

Is Walter Alhassan Syngenta’s Agent in Ghana?

Food Sovereignty Ghana is shocked by the pronouncements of Prof. Walter Sandow Alhassan urging farmers to reject warnings from anti-GMO groups telling us that accepting GMOs will result in “seed colonisation and seed slavery”.

Prof. Alhassan was quoted as calling for groups like FSG to be “abhorred”, because, according to him, “those groups do not have any scientific proof or knowledge to offer when it comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) technology”.

In truth, Ghanaian farmers need to abhor and reject scientists laden with conflicts of interest. Monsanto and Syngenta are particularly greedy to get their hands on Ghana’s agriculture and control the seed market here. Professor Alhassan is their key servant helping to make this grab possible. Professor Alhassan is attempting to control the information farmers and the public see and hear just like the industry he represents.

Professor Alhassan has had most of his life and career funded by the biotech industry. Some by Monsanto, particularly his education and early history, and more later by Syngenta and the Syngenta Foundation.(1) Naturally he supports genetically modified organisms, GMOs. He has spent his entire life in their service. He is Syngenta’s man in Ghana.

“Today, large numbers of scientists are in the employ of Big Pharma, Big Ag, and all kinds of corporations with anti-environmental and anti-social justice agendas.”(2) Professor Alhassan is a key employee of Big Ag, and has been for his entire career.

“Monsanto and other multimillion-dollar agribusiness firms have been suppressing independent research on their genetically engineered crops for decades.”(2) And they lie about GMOs as well. Monsanto has just been forced to withdraw advertisements in South Africa because of unsubstantiated information and FALSE CLAIMS that GMO crops: “enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially”. (3) None of these claims are true. Yet we hear Professor Alhassan and his network repeating these same lies over and over again and calling them science.

When Dr. Alhassan warns that anti GMO groups do not have any scientific proof or knowledge to offer when it comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) technology, and therefore should be abhorred, he is being deliberately untruthful and he knows it. In fact he is trying to suppress scientific inquiry and knowledge. More information on the dangers of GMO pesticide plants comes out everyday, this despite the fact that the biotechnology industry has done its best to suppress any studies or information that does not support industry claims.

Genetic engineering is about private corporate control of the food system. (4)

Right now Professor Alhassan and his corporate and academic cronies are trying to get Bt cowpeas into the Ghanaian market. Bt cowpeas are pesticides as are all Bt GMO plants. When Ghanaians eat Bt cowpeas they will be eating pesticides. In the US Bt plants are registered as pesticides by the USDA. When you eat any part of a Bt plant, you are eating a toxic pesticide. Although Bt does occur in nature, that is quite different than having a plant which contains Bt toxin in every cell of the plant.

With Bt in nature, and when used as a dust or spray in agroecological farming: “The ACTIVE TOXIN can only be found IN THE GUT OF THE INSECT” (5). The plant itself contains no Bt. If there is any residual spray or dust on the surface of the plant it can be washed off.

However, with the Bt in GMO cowpeas and all other Bt GMO plants: “ACTIVE TOXIN IS IN EVERY PLANT CELL AND TISSUE, ALL THE TIME and cannot be washed off. … As far as safety is concerned, the “active toxins are not easily degraded by gut enzymes and, since they are lectins, they all are very likely to bind to the wall of the mammalian/human gut.”(5) And that means they are likely to be processed into your body creating who knows what short term or long term health risks and dangers.

Those insects that are controlled and killed by the Bt in Bt GMO plants are likely to evolve a tolerance for the Bt toxin and come back stronger over time. Other opportunistic varieties of insect will take advantage of the lack of competition and move in to take the place of the former pests creating new super pests. That is happening in the US where GMOs have been around for 20 years. It is leading to more and stronger pesticides being used every year, endangering the health of humans and livestock, degrading and polluting the soil, water, and air across US farmlands.

It is particularly worrisome to have Bt cowpeas growing in Ghana, a species indigenous to West Africa. One of the things GMO crops do is contaminate neighboring crops with their pollen. Grown in quantity, GMO cowpeas could contaminate the entire region of West Africa. Because of this kind of contamination, Mexico banned growing Bt corn. If the Ghana Plant Breeders Bill is passed, it would allow the corporate GMO owners to claim all offspring of that contamination as their own property according to their intellectual property rights. They could force a farmer whose crop is contaminated to pay for the contaminated crop, to pay damages to the corporation! They could force farmers to destroy their crops. This is happening across the United States and in Canada where corporations are winning huge judgement debts against farmers. It is happening in other countries that have passed UPOV laws such as Ghana’s Plant Breeders Bill. This is what Professor Alhassan intends to bring to Ghana’s farmers, claiming it is progress and calling it science. It is just old fashioned greed.

Contamination of the West African cowpea means the destruction of Ghana’s heritage, destruction of the seed DNA Ghana’s farmers, going back generations and centuries, have laboured to develop and preserve. This is biopiracy, made legal by the Plant Breeders Bill. Professor Walter Alhassan calls this destruction science. It is a tool by which “Corporations profit, Western governments gain control”(6) of Ghana, control of the entire West African region, and control of the continent of Africa.

Would you trust Professor Walter Alhassan to make decisions about what you eat? Do you trust Professor Alhassan and his recommended scientific cronies to tell you what to plant, or what seeds you are required to use? Whose best interests does Professor Alhassan represent?

Bibliography:

(1) Walter Alhassan http://www.syngentafoundation.org/index.cfm?pageID=688

(2) The New Scientism: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/the-new-scientism/

(3) Monsanto Forced To Pull Advertisement Because Someone Actually Fact-Checked Them http://www.dcclothesline.com/2015/02/07/monsanto-forced-pull-advertisement-someone-actually-fact-checked/

(4) Living with GMOs – www.theletterfromamerica.org

(5) Bt in organic farming and GM plants – the difference : www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/40-2001/1058-bt-in-organic-farming-and-gm-crops-the-difference-

(6) The Re-Colonization of Africa http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/02/06/re-colonization-africa

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour
Acting Director of Communications

Communications Directorate, FSG
Email:
info@foodsovereigntyghana.org
Tel: +233 503 895 751
Website:
http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana

Legal suit

February 8, 2015
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FSG Sues Government Over GM Rice and Beans

Legal suit

We are happy to announce that Food Sovereignty Ghana has filed a writ of summons against the National Biosafety Committee NBC and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture MoFA, with an application for an interim injunction to restrain the recalcitrant defendants from any release and commercialization of genetically modified cowpeas and rice until the provisions of the Biosafety Act are expressly and fully obeyed. We are not only calling for an injunction on the commercialisation of GM rice and Bt cowpeas, but on all GM crops until the National Biosafety Authority is in place.

We have taken this action as a result of the fact that Ghanaians are being constantly bombarded with news items containing false claims that the attempts to impose GM rice and beans or our precious “waakye”, or the famous fried plantain and beans, alias “red red”, are being done in accordance with the law!

We maintain that this is certainly and evidently not the case. Our case is very simple. According to Section 13 of the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, on the “The application to import or place on the market”, only the National Biosafety Authority has such a power to authorize the commercial release of GM foods in Ghana. The law says:

“13. ( 1) A person shall not, without the prior written approval of the Authority, import or place on the market a genetically modified organism.
(2) An application under subsection (1) shall include
(a) The information set out in the Third Schedule
(b) a risk assessment as set out in the Third Schedule, and
(c) any other information that the applicant may consider necessary for an assessment of the potential risks and benefits of the requested activity.”
[See: Ghana Biosafety Act 831 31 Dec 2011.pdf]

Now, we all know that the National Biosafety Authority does not even exist, because it is yet to be inaugurated. No appointments have been made and approved even for it, so under what authority are those undertaking these dangerous experiments doing so, and who is supervising them? Apparently, even the National Biosafety Committee has no power of its own apart from the authority of the Minister for Industries, Science and Technology, MIST.

Ghana is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. 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 (LMOs). It also requires Parties to consult the public in the decision-making process, to make public the final decision taken and to inform public about the means of access to the Biosafety Clearing-House.

For example, currently in Malawi, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, (LUANAR) applied for confined field trials of Bt cowpea, the same crop that Savannah Research Institute, (SARI) has been investigating for years. Whilst a copy of the LUANAR is readily available, there is still no trace of the SARI application even weeks after asking specifically for it! Here is a copy of the LUANAR application: Bunda College Application for Confined Field Trial (CFT) of Bt-Cowpea | Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa AFSA http://afsafrica.org/bunda-college-application-for-confined-field-trial-cft-of-bt-cowpea/

Meanwhile, Section 11 (1) of the Act states very clearly that: “A person shall not conduct a contained or confined use activity involving genetically modified organisms or their development without the written approval of the Authority”. The law further stipulates in Section 42 (2) that “The Authority shall publish notices of final decisions concerning applications made under this Act in the Gazette and electronic and print media”, in order to ensure public awareness and participation. This is a far cry from the secrecy surrounding the experiments currently going on in Ghana!

We maintain that none of these provisions are being respected. It even appears that the so-called National Biosafety Committee is being run from the office of the Minister of Industries, Science and Technology. We were extremely surprised to read from the reaction of Mr. Eric Okoree, Secretary to the National Biosafety Committee, stating inter alia, that “I have printed the request and submitted it to the Minister’s Secretariat for his information as per the Civil Service Procedure . He will minute it down to the Secretariat for action to be taken.”!

Up till now, several weeks after calling for copies of the documents on risk assessment and risk management and benefits supporting the application by the Savanna Agricultural research Institute (SARI), for the approval of field trials of Bt cow peas submitted for approval, no such document has been forth-coming. Meanwhile this is the sort of information that must be voluntarily be made available to members of the Ghanaian public in accordance with the law.

We find the situation of lawlessness surrounding the imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians most alarming as bisosafety is a matter of life and death. The most fraudulent aspect of this is the fact that in spite of the flagrant infringement of the Biosafety Act, the scientists behind these dangerous experiments keep informing the public that everything is being done in accordance with the law.

For example, in Ghanaian scientists edge up with GM rice trials http://www.modernghana.com/news/594252/1/ghanaian-scientists-edge-up-with-gm-rice-trials.html, published on 24 January 2015, they claim that “The confined field trials started in April 2013 at Nobewam in the Ashanti region, after receiving approval from the National Biosafety Committee (NBC).”

Principal Investigator, Dr. Maxwell Asante, further informed the press that “If the lead event is confirmed, we will request for permission from the NBC to allow it to be grown by farmers in Ghana after testing. The genes that make the GM rice nitrogen-use efficient will then be transferred to other varieties in Ghana through conventional breeding methods,”

What is most worrisome is the fact these these perpetrators are aware of the fact that “There is strong opposition to the introduction of GM crops in Ghana’s food production chain.”

Alarmingly, we also read, “Biosafety advocate, Albert Aubyn, however says there is no cause for worry with the current trials, noting that field activities are strictly in conformity with regulative measures”.

The story by Kofi Adu Domfeh ends with the assurances that “Three confined field trials of rice, cowpea and cotton are currently being evaluated in Ghana in compliance with the Biosafety Act 2011, Act 831, which regulates GMOs”.

Meanwhile, according to the Section 13 of the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, on the “The application to import or place on the market”, it is the non-existent National Biosafety Authority which has the power to authorise the commercialisation of GM foods in the country, and not the National Biosafety Committee.

We call on all Ghanaians who care about the safety and the quality of food they are putting into their bodies, to show keen interest in this matter and provide us with the moral and material support we need to prosecute this case which is set to be a David versus Goliath struggle.

For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!

George Tetteh Wayo, Esq.
Spokesperson on Legal Affairs
Communications Directorate, FSG

Tel: +233 503 895 751

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

unnamed

December 24, 2014
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Who’d ever think that we’d ever come thus far?

Lyrics: Who’d Ever Think That…?
See Attachment for audio

Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
Happy 2014!

Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
The Plant “Bleeders’” Bill is dead!

Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
Congratulations, everybody!

Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
We would ever come thus far?
Who’d ever think that we would ever come thus far?
The ball in now in your court!

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December 8, 2014
by admin
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GMO Peddlers – Fake Debates and Staged Symposia!

Food Sovereignty Ghana wishes to alert the public concerning the unrelenting attempts to impose GMOs on Ghanaians. The Plant Breeders Bill (PBB) has suffered a setback in Parliament, due mostly to the robust workings of Ghanaian democracy. A majority of the Ghanaian people are against the bill and have made their well-informed opinions known. However, powerful foreign governments, multinational corporations and foundations, Big Agribusiness, still want the bill passed. They have not stopped their efforts to force the PBB through Parliament and force their GMO seeds onto Ghanaians. They have too much money at stake.  Europe and even the United States are turning against GMOs.  Forcing GMOs  on Ghana and all of Africa is necessary for their financial survival, not for our survival.

Predictably, their next step will be a series of supposedly “educational” initiatives. They did the same thing last year, as soon as the PBB was confronted with numerous petitions and had to be withdrawn for further consultations. We therefore know from experience that the pro PBB/GMO forces will again sponsor forums in which they will extol the alleged virtues of seemingly miraculous GMO crops. They will call anti-GMO activists ignorant and anti-science. They will invoke Science as if science were a god and allege Science tells us we must have GMOs or die.  They will ignore or belittle the reasons we oppose GMOs.

The latest effort to fool Ghanaians about the Plant Breeders’ Bill and GMOs is a half day symposium offered on Wednesday, 10thDecember, 2014 at CLOSSAG Conference Room (Ministries) in Accra at 9:30am. This symposium is organized by the CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), under the Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA).

DRUSSA is interesting. It is particularly active in Ghana and Uganda, both countries are major targets of the G8NA in the push to get GMOs into African countries. DRUSSA’s description of itself uses lots of fancy Big English to say they work closely with universities and academics in the target countries, and that they work with politicians, bringing academics and politicians together, using academics to try and influence public policy and legislation.

If you read about DRUSSA on their website, they tell us they get their funding from DFID. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) claims on its website that it “leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.” However, if you dig more deeply, you’ll find “that hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money is being used to promote projects designed to benefit some of the world’s richest agribusiness corporations and to extend their control over the global food system. DFID is at the centre of an intricate nexus of corporations and donor-sponsored institutions seeking to maximise private profit from agriculture. Personal connections play a vital role, and there is a significant ‘revolving door’ of staff between DFID and agribusiness corporations, with the personal links going beyond DFID to the heart of the UK government and its economic policy. In addition, this report reveals DFID’s involvement in a network of private enterprises and investment fund managers incorporated in the secrecy jurisdiction of Mauritius. (http://markcurtis.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/the-hunger-games-how-dfid-support-for-agribusiness-is-fuelling-poverty-in-africa/)

In Ethiopia DFID is working tirelessly to increase extreme poverty.  DFID money is supporting the forced removal of people from their homes and farms and forced relocation to “villages” that have no resources and where they have no way to feed themselves. These forcible evictions are accomplished with assaults, beatings, rapes, and a variety of human rights abuses. The farmers’ land is appropriated for growing monoculture crops dependent on destructive chemical inputs and designed for export. Keep in mind this policy is happening in Ethiopia, a country that has suffered terrible famine in recent memory. (www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/15/ethiopian-farmer-uk-court-resettlement-policy-villagisation)

These are the real backers of the DRUSSA symposium, the Agribusiness interests behind DFID and a variety of other institutions. Their goal is not to end poverty but to make themselves richer at the expense of the poor and at the expense of all Ghanaians.

There is no reliable science that supports GMO safety or long term productivity. And there is an ever-increasing body of research that points to enormous dangers and destruction to our health and our environment from GMO crops and related chemicals.

“Accepting or Not Accepting GMOs: Implications for Sustainable Food Production in Ghana” is the DRUSSA symposium title.  Keep in mind there is no evidence that GMOs can make any contribution to a sustainable food supply.  There are lots of industry claims, but no evidence.  Where GMOs are more productive, that effect only lasts 3-5 years.  Then the toll exacted by the toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers begins to reveal its devastation on the land and the crops.  To date, all serious studies tell us the only way to sustainable agriculture is with small family farms, a rich diversity of seeds, and inputs that do not poison the land, the air, the water, and all the people, plants, and animals that live there.

Previous fora and symposia sponsored by supporters of the Plant Breeder’ Bill (PBB) and GMOs have excluded or minimized any alternate viewpoints.   Farmers have been promised a voice and excluded at the last moment, as has FSG.  It will be interesting to see how the DRUSSA symposium handles alternative viewpoints, whether they are treated with equal respect and accommodation.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah,
Chairperson, FSG

Website: http://foodsovereigntyghana.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodSovereignGH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyGhana