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GMO: ‘We Are Disappointed in the Court Judgement’-FSG

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Report By: Ishmael Barfi


Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), a civil society organization working to preserve life, social justice and the environment have expressed its disappointment with the judgement made by The Human Rights Court 1 in Accra on Tuesday 30th April 2024.

The judgement dismissed our application for an interlocutory injunction, for the court to restrain the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) from releasing 14 newly approved Genetically Modified (GM) crops (Maize and Soya) for human consumption, animal feed, and for other processing in Ghana.

This was contained in press release issued by the Food Sovereignty Ghana on Thursday, 2nd May, 2024 in Accra.

According to the release, “it is unfortunate that the court, presided over by Her Ladyship, Justice Barbara Tetteh-Charway, did not recognise the position of FSG and our allies, on the importance of settling a case already brought before it, challenging the release of a GM version of our staple Cowpea, before other GM crops or products are given further approval by the regulator, the NBA”.

In the ruling, the court acknowledged the mandate of the NBA to manage issues of biotechnology in Ghana.

The Cartagena Protocol, clearly outlines the NBA’s obligations beyond approving applications for new GMOs into Ghana. The NBA has an overarching responsibility to educate the public who are the ultimate key stakeholders, on the pros and cons of the inclusion of biotechnology in what we grow and eat.

In a statement issued by the regulatory authority, they said, “…The NBA wishes to assure Ghanaians that it remains committed to ensuring the safety of modern biotechnology in Ghana as well as continuous engagement with stakeholders in a transparent manner…”

Though FSG is aware of the obligations of the NBA under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to which Ghana is a signatory, FSG and its allies find this statement to be highly contestable given the known facts on the ground that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians haven’t got a clue what Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are, let alone that their staple dishes of Waakye, Tugbaani, Koose and our beloved Red-Red are about to be irreversibly altered, with unknown health and environmental consequences.

“FSG wished to repeat the call we made to all Media organizations at our Press Conference held on April 15th 2024, to conduct surveys with their audiences as a matter of national urgency”, the release indicated.

“This will reveal the true extent of, or rather lack of, public education and engagement carried out by the NBA with the general public, before such approvals are granted”, it added.

FSG through the release urged all Ghanaians especially parents, to pay close attention to the ruling of this substantive matter in the Human Rights High Court regarding Genetically Modified Cowpea which is scheduled for Friday May 24, 2024.



Source: www.thenewindpendentonline.com

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