Speaker of Parliament, Right Honourable Edward Doe Adjaho has taken note of numerous petitions concerning the Plant Breeders Bill currently at consideration stage in Parliament and its corresponding Genetically Modified Organism debate.
According to the speaker in an opening statement of the second session of the 6th parliament on Tuesday, he has also taken note of the fact that the Biosafety Act, Act 831 which was enacted in 2011 and called for a regulatory body to be established thus the National Biosafety Authority.
Hon. Adjaho in his statement directed that the leadership of the House considered thoroughly the Plant Breeders Bill, Biosafety Act and the related petitions sent in from the various organized bodies and ‘advise the Chair accordingly’.
“I have received a number of petitions relating to the Genetically Modified Organisms and the Plant Breeders Bill. I have also taken note of the fact that the Biosafety Act, Act 831 which was enacted in 2011 made provisions for the establishment of a regulatory body that is the National Biosafety Authority to deal with most of the concerns raise in those on the Genetically Modified Organisms. Indeed the objectives of the Act provided in section 2 are
(a) To ensure an adequate level of protection in the field of safe development transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms resulting from biotechnology that may have an adverse effect on health and the environment and
(b) To establish a transparent and predictable process to review and make decision on genetically modified organisms specified in paragraph (a) and related activities.
I would therefore refer this matter to the Leadership to consider and advise the Chair accordingly.
Some organized groups in Ghana have raised concerns about the ‘clandestine’ introduction of the Plant Breeders Bill before parliament which will eventually lead to signing into law a legal protection to persons who introduce GM products in the country.
This, coupled with claims of the gross dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms has generated public debate over the dangers of GM products and the signing into law the Plant Breeders bill.