Food Sovereignty Ghana

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

No Food Shall Be Grown..

September 16, 2014
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Attorney-General Must Withdraw The “Monsanto Law”!

By Food Sovereignty Ghana

From all indications, the first item on the agenda of our Parliament, after the recess, in October this year, is going to be the consideration of the infamous Plant Breeders’ Bill, otherwise known all over the world, as the “Monsanto Law”.

What this means is that the Parliamentary sub-committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs will be expected to present a report to the floor of the House on the various petitions received by the House, as directed by the Speaker.

The problem is that judging from the various pronouncements of several MPs on this Committee, the mood is clearly one of going ahead to pass the Bill in spite of the overwhelming public opposition to it. In order to do so, it is expected that the report would attempt to rubbish the concerns raised in these petitions as baseless and unfounded, as they have been doing in interviews and Press Conferences.

A crucial issue we call on the public to keep a keen eye on is the fact of the illegitimacy of the bill itself. This was beautifully highlighted in the petition presented by more than 50 international CSOs and NGOs. A reading of that particular petition shows clearly that the accompanying Memorandum to the Plant Breeders’ Bill sent to Parliament by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, was at best, based on false premises, or at worst, designed to mislead the House in favour of the Bill. See: Ghana’s Plant Breeders Bill Lacks Legitimacy! It Must Be Revised! :

“The Bill is modeled on the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of 1991 (UPOV 1991) which a rigid and an inflexible regime for plant variety protection (PVP). It is worth noting that today out of the 71 UPOV members, only a fraction – about 22 developing countries are members of UPOV. Most of these developing countries (e.g. Brazil, China, Argentina, South Africa) and even some developed countries (e.g. Norway) are not members of UPOV 1991 but rather UPOV 1978, which is a far more flexible regime.

Ghana has full flexibility under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to develop an effective “sui generis” system for plant variety protection, i.e. to develop a unique system that suits its needs. In view of this, it is truly unfortunate and even irrational that instead of designing a PVP regime that reflects the agricultural framework and realities of Ghana as some other countries have done (e.g. India, Thailand, Ethiopia), Ghana is choosing to adopt and be bound by UPOV 1991 without any concrete evidence or impact assessment of the necessity and impacts of adopting such a regime.”

In the Memorandum accompanying the Bill, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, dated 28th May, 2013 states:

“The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which resulted from the negotiations of the Uruguay Round requires contracting parties to protect varieties either by patent or by an effective sui generic system of protection or by a hybrid of these two systems which is the plant breeders rights system.”

Without any explanation, she goes further to indicate:

“Clause 1 of the Bill defines the scope of application of the Bill. Ghana has opted to apply the requirement for compliance with the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of December 2, 1961 and subsequently revised on November 10th, 1972, on 23rd October, 1978 and on 19th March, 1991.” See: Memorandum to the Plant Breeders’ Bill 2013 Publications | Parliament of Ghana.

Her words are so misleading as to be a lie. UPOV is harmful and unnecessary:

“The Memorandum to the Bill falsely argues that farmers have the right to use protected varieties as a source for further research and breeding activities. In actual fact under the Bill, if a protected variety is used for further breeding and where the variety developed from the protected variety is an essentially derived variety (EDVs), breeders’ rights extend to the EDVs. This concept of EDVs is highly contentious and uncertain. Many advanced developed countries are still grappling with this concept and its implementation. What is or is not an EDV is a question already under extensive litigation and court and arbitration disputes. These types of provision favor multinationals, which have immense financial resources at the expense of farmers and even local breeders.  In the US Monsanto has attempted to crush farmers and local breeders in the courts. It is not necessary to include such a provision in the PVP legislation. Many developing countries with successful PVP regimes do not incorporate such a clause in their national legislation.”

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong further argues in the Memorandum that:

“The Bill seeks to acknowledge the achievements of breeders of new varieties by making available to them an exclusive right on the basis of a set of uniform and clearly defined principles. This will promote the growth of the seed industry and safeguard the lawful right and interest of plant breeders. Furthermore, the Bill seeks to regulate the production, offer for sale, sale, marketing and advertisement of new varieties. The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which resulted from the negotiations of the Uruguay Round requires contracting parties to protect varieties either by patent or by an effective sui generic system of protection or by a hybrid of these two systems which is the plant breeders rights system. The plant breeder rights system permits farmers to save and replant seed and provides them with the right to use protected varieties as a source of further research and breeding activities.”

This is a blatant falsehood! The Ministry of Justice is rushing to impose UPOV on Ghana without any justification and on the basis of lies. Mrs Grace Ishaque, Principal State Attorney with Ministry of Justice in Ghana seems to be the main focal point on the matter. She represented Ghana at the ARIPO meeting in Malawi, where she told those campaigning against UPOV that “it is the farmers that want Ghana to implement UPOV 1991″!  Anyone who knows any farmers knows that is a lie.

Ghana is a member of the World Trade Organization and the rights and obligations concerning intellectual property are governed by the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). According to Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement, Ghana has to provide protection of plant varieties by an “effective sui generis” system. Sui generis means “unique to Ghana” system of protection.  A sui generis system will address what Ghanaian farmers actually need now, not what megacorporations want to impose on Ghana.   This provision allows Ghana maximum flexibility in the design of plant variety protection (PVP), UPOV is rigidly hostile to small farmers and entirely unnecessary. Ghana needs its own sui generis system tailored to the needs of our farmers and plant breeders.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Jason Tutu
Communications Lead, FSG

Email: <>, 
Screenshot from 2014-09-09 13:18:09

September 9, 2014
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Kufuor In Search of GMO Per Diems!

By Food Sovereignty Ghana
Screenshot from 2014-09-09 13:18:09

On 31st August, 2014, former president John Agyekum Kufuor was visibly miss­ing in action during the New Patriotic Party’s (NPPs) Special Delegates’ Congress to prune the number of the party’s presidential candidates from seven to five. He was on his way attending the 2014 African Green Revolution Forum, 01-04 September 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The former President would have the whole world to believe that his absence at the Engineering Auditorium at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where he was supposed to cast his vote was for what his spokesperson, Mr. Frank Agyekum called “strategic reasons”.

The truth of the matter is that he was physically present at Addis Ababa, where a substantial per diem was awaiting him. Instead of saying the truth, he preferred to put a spin on his absence by claiming neutrality, Mr. Frank Agyekum, spokesperson for the former President, had stated that his boss took the position not to vote because he sees himself as a statesman.

“He is part of the process but he is not voting because he sees himself as an elder statesman on both na­tional and party affairs. The process and the tensions in the NPP as it is today, it is best if he doesn’t show his support for one candidate or the other.”

Mr. Kufour was however seen in the Ethiopian capital campaigning for the introduction of GM foods in Africa, under guise of what he called “climate-smart agriculture”! According to the ex-president, speaking in a panel discussion of the ‘Global Panel on Agriculture for Food Systems and Nutrition’ at the 2014 African Green Revolution Forum, “Agriculture is now under sustained threat from Climate Change and hence the call for Climate-Smart Agriculture,”

Mr. Kufuor’s per diem was paid for by the GMO Green Revolution sponsors.  We do not begrudge him for ditching his party and going in pursuit of per diems with a pack of lies. What we take strong exception to is the rather mischievous manner he seeks to return the GMO favour by spouting GMO lies about helping fight climate change and producing larger yields. 

Even if the highly questionable claims of increases in food or crop yields, or drought-resistant flood-resistant GM crops were true, the ever increasing amounts of pesticide toxins they contain should prohibit their production or use. Toxic food, regardless of abundance, does not replace safe and edible food.

GMOs contain massive quantities of pesticides, a huge health threat. Close to 100% of all commercial GMO crops are genetically engineered to contain pesticides, or to absorb huge amounts of pesticides without being killed. When we consume the plants, or eat animals that consume the plants, we consume those pesticides that can injure heart, lungs, nerves, digestion, blood, skin, immunity, and sexual function and development.

GMOs, and the legal framework that permits and sustains them, are not business as usual but an orchestrated attempt to control our food, our land, our water. GMOs and their legal framework offer foreign corporations permanent control over our destiny as individuals and as a nation.  These laws, the Biosafety Act, Seed Laws, and UPOV laws such as the Plant Breeders Bill are sometimes referred to as weapons of legal destruction.  They place corporate interests and greed above the laws of nations. They leave the entire budgets of nations vulnerable to corporate whims.

For 20 years these chemical corporations behind the GM scam have been selling herbicides and pesticides as part of food and doing very little to produce any plant that increases yield, and produced none that are climate-smart. Mr. Kufour continues his legacy of trying to sell Ghana to the west for his own profit, and is willing to destroy Ghana’s agriculture and small farmers in the process.
For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!

Jason Tutu
Communications Lead, FSG

Email: <>, 

September 2, 2014
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GMO Lies and Outdated Science

By Food Sovereignty Ghana
Ghana’s MPs, USAID and its contractors, and their GMO tame scientists all remain committed to passing the Plant Breeders Bill and imposing GMOs on Ghanaian farmers and public. They expect the public to unquestioningly respect this outdated science as if it were the word of God. Those who love and appreciate science know that what is known is never final.  The known is always the starting point for asking new and more questions, seeking facts, and drawing conclusions based on data driven analysis.  The GMO perpetrators hate genuine science, it often gives them information they do not want people to know, information that endangers their profits and monopoly control.

The GMO perpetrators lie to journalists and the public about the Plant Breeders Bill, pretending it will not enable domination of Ghana’s agriculture by foreign corporations.  The bill will take away our sovereignty and allow the theft of our Ghanaian seed DNA.  They lie about the accomplishments of GMOs, with claims about yields and adapting to climate change.  They lie about the benefits to small holder farmers, when all the evidence from countries that have tried GMOs shows us that the high price of the seeds and chemical inputs puts small holder farmers out of business.   GMOs yield profits only with large scale mechanized agriculture that throws people out of work and off their land.   That is what they plan for Ghana, to sell our land out from under us so it can be used for chemical agriculture that poisons people and the environment.

GMOs were designed by chemical companies and they have only one trick: pesticides.  They either contain pesticides in every cell of the plant, or they are designed to absorb massive quantities of applied pesticides without killing the plant.  Either way, these pesticides fill the environment and are passed into the food chain.

The GMO hucksters want you to think science tells us we need GMOs.  The science supporting GMOs is more than 20 years old.  It has been left in the dust by more recent science that demonstrates the importance of diversity, by Agroecology, and by marker assisted breeding that can actually accomplish the things that GMO perpetrators have claimed but failed to accomplish. The big chemical agriculture corporations, led by Monsanto, have done their best to suppress  independent research on GMOs, and have viciously attacked any scientist who publishes results not to their liking.  The strong resistance (including from governments) to GMOs in Europe is based on science.

The GMO perpetrators are importing GMO seed into Ghana and engaging in field trials without permission or supervision even from the so-called Biosafety Authority, which has not yet been constituted.  The Biosafety Authority is the only body that can legally grant that permission, yet there are GMOs already growing in our lands in Ghana!

Food Sovereignty Ghana remains committed to genuine principles of scientific inquiry.  We remain committed in our opposition to the Plant Breeders Bill.  We remain committed to the preservation of Ghana’s sovereignty and the integrity of our seed DNA which our Parliament so carelessly wishes to give away.   We urge all Ghanaians to educate themselves on these issues and let your MP know your thoughts.

For Life, the Environment, and Social Justice!–
Jason Tutu
Communications Lead, FSG

Email: <>, 


August 6, 2014
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GMO supporters silence debate


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: <>, 

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
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!

For Life, The Environment, and Social Justice!

Jason Tutu
Member, Communications Department
Food Sovereignty Ghana.
Contact: 0540113569

Lobby bills

June 23, 2014
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 World Cup 10390394_311210429034910_962784632008368335_n

 RED ALERT! Dear Friends, Brothers & Sisters of the great African family! We need your help! – Food Sovereignty Ghana

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: NGOs: FBOs:, 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

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.


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.

You may also watch the entire video here: Video: Dr. Vandana Shiva In Accra #1. Public Forum | Food Sovereignty Ghana