The Executive Director of Food Sovereignty Ghana, Mr Ben Guri, has cautioned the government not to rush into adopting genetically modified (GM) food because of its long-term side effects.
He said there was ample scientific proof that there was long-term side effect of GM food, adding, “Today, those side effects may not show, but give it the next 50 years and they will begin to show on our health and that is why I think that GM food may have its good sides but it is too early to adopt it.”
Mr Guri, who gave the caution in an interview, pointed out, “Even in Europe of all places, as at now GM food is banned.”
Touching on the Seed Breeders Bill which had been passed by the Parliament, he cautioned that if the bill was allowed to go through, “the danger here is that if I have my own seeds, by law GM seeds should never come into my field. Even if the pollens are blown into my field, I will be charged”.
“What is happening is that they are trying to get our local seeds extinct and replace them with GM seeds, which is what is called the modernisation of agriculture. Usually the first year, you may get a good yield but the following year you have to buy new seeds again if you want to have a good yield because you cannot even select from those seeds to grow again. It is not allowed by the bill that has been passed,” he pointed out.
He explained that the Seed Breeders Bill was meant to protect breeders in such a way that they might reap back what had been invested.
Mr Guri described the move to introduce GM food as another form of re-colonisation and a “dangerous weapon” because Africa would have to become 100 per cent dependant on their food.
“It is a very dangerous weapon because if they control our food, they control our lives because if they refuse to give us the seeds when we lose all our local seeds, we will die out,” he warned.
Touching on the Seed Breeders Bill that had already been passed by Parliament, he said, the bill was “sneaked” into Parliament because Parliament did not open it up for discussion, saying even most of the parliamentarians did not understand what it was all about.
He reminded politicians that they had the responsibility of feeding Ghana by passing the right bills that would support farmers in the country.
Mr Guri said he was happy that with pressure from civil society, “they are going to be very cautious about the bill, although it is passed”.
He congratulated farmers, especially those who won awards during this year’s Farmers Day, and stressed that the day was an important one because it gave the opportunity to showcase the people who were making Ghana what it was.
Source: Daily Graphic
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