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
Contact: Tel: +233 503 895 751