An Advocacy group, Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) has expressed outrage over recent comments made by the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) regarding the introduction of the controversial Genetically Modified Food also known GMO in the country.
The group threw its weight behind plans by government to commercialize such products in Ghana.
In a recent media interview, the president of Seed Traders group, Thomas Hovor asserted that with the advancement in technology, Ghana farmers will benefit tremendously from GMO foods.
“The hesitance about GMOs is only because people do not understand it. But there is nothing unsafe about it. The GMOs have come to stay. With cowpea, farmers spray five times before harvest. With the Maruca resistant GMO Cowpea, you only spray twice. And the production of cowpea is higher because the GMO has brought down the destruction of cowpea pods,” he added.
But Food Sovereignty in a statement copied citifmonline.com questioned NASTAG’s position saying it contradicts professional research works which prove the negative effects of consuming such products.
“Our simple response is that the concerns about GMOs are widespread and totally reasonable given the overwhelming quantum of independent research findings which question their safety for human health and expose their negative effects on the environment.”
While calling for further discussions and scientific enquiry on the matter FSG said “what we find worrying is that these absolutely unsubstantiated claims on the safety of GMO’s once more, expose the agenda of a multinational agro business lobby that seeks at all costs, to recruit stakeholders in many countries especially those in under-developed ones like Ghana.”
War against GMOs
Various stakeholders waged a national war against attempts by government to approve the use of GMOs in Ghana.
Critics claimed that GMOs will undermine and damage the traditional farming practices and serve as unnecessary threat to public health, water resources, air and the natural environment.
In 2014, a group calling itself Coalition for Farmers Rights and Advocacy served notice of embarking on a massive protest against GMOs.
A Fast Track High Court 2015 stopped the Ministry of Food and Agriculture from producing and selling GMO products in the country.
The court took the decision in a case brought before it by Food Sovereignty Ghana which claimed that the Ministry does not have the authority to commercialize such products.