Leaders of a group of smallholder farmers in Ghana numbering about 250,000 at meeting in Mion have expressed reservation about the posture of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to promote a business idea of a foreign company as against the production and preservation of local seeds. They have resolved to reject any form of coercion or deliberate attempt to introduce Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the country.
They argue that, Ghana is will not travel the path of Burkina Faso who have tried GMOs and regretted accepting it and therefore putting their Cotton industry under danger as a result of the negative effects of GMOs, will do all within their means and legally to reject GM seeds onto the market.
They accuse Dr. Okoree of doing the bidding of his paymasters at the expense of the local seed preservation and food security in Ghana.
“We account for about 50 per cent of all farmers in Ghana. It is sad that, persons paid with our own tax money will stab us in the back by allowing themselves to be influenced by the interest of multinational profit oriented foreign companies whose only focus is profit at all cost to push GMOs into Ghana. We reject GMOs today, tomorrow and forever,” leader of the group Abdul Nurundeen charged.
The group argues that, Ghana is confronted with many Agriculture challenges. Key among them include market access, erratic rainfall pattern and high post-harvest losses. These challenges are not related to seeds, so why bother about GMO when we have not dealt with these challenges? They queried.
A popular pesticide – glysophate produced by the company (Monsanto) pushing GMOs into Ghana has been found to be cancerous and the manufacturers knew this all along and kept it a secret.
Ghanaian scientists including Dr. Amaning Okoree are very much aware of this but for whatever motivation and reason they are quiet about it. This is a betrayal of the highest order and can best be described as greed.