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National Bio-safety Committee member downplays anti-GMO concerns

FruitsProf. Walter Alhassan Sundown, a member of the National Biosafety Committee has downplayed concerns raised by the Coalition for Farmers Rights, an advocacy group, over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) foods.

According to him, there are no issues to be addressed in the Bio-safety Act that was passed in 2011.

Speaking to Joy News, Prof, Alhassan Sundown noted that GMO products are as good as non-GMO products, adding that the former had been sent through series of thorough scrutiny to ensure it is safe for both humans and animals.

He however, rejected the assertion that the Bio-safety Act already passed by Parliament, will provide some people the opportunity to make money through seed patents.

“It is a win-win situation”, he stressed, adding that the bill will not make any person have a patent on any variety of plant seedlings.

Anti-campaigners against Plant Breeders Bill hit the streets of Accra, Tuesday, in protest of the introduction of GMO foods into the country.

Joy News‘ Anna Agyapong reports that the protestors held placards, calling on President John Mahama to ban the introduction of GMO foods into the country as it is not safe for the health of humans and animals.

According to the protesters, the bill, already passed by parliament allows farmers to buy new seedlings during planting season, which they noted will impoverish the local farmers.

Speaking to Joy News, Communications Director of the Coalition for Farmer’s Rights and Advocacy against GMO’s, Kofi Adjei said the group is seeking to inform Ghanaians that the plant breeders bill gives foreigners the chance to have copyright over the products they introduced into the country.

This, he noted, will give rise to the payments of royalties by the local farmers in the future.

He therefore indicated that control of the seedlings, should not be allowed as the coalition will ensure that every clause in the bill is scrutinized to have a law that will protect the rights and interests of the ordinary Ghanaian farmer.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho has directed more consultations be done on the Plant Breeders Bill.

But majority chief whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak tells Joy News that it will be difficult to incorporate the interest of the concerned groups into the Bill unless the group brings amendments to the bio-safety laws that had been passed.

 

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Source: myjoyonline

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