Health News of 2013-12-13

Health Ministry kicks against GMOs

The Ministry of Health has kicked against the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms into the country.

It believes the products may pose some risks to the lives of Ghanaians.

Speaking to Adom TV on MultiTV, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Mr. Tony Goodman said the health of Ghanaians could not be experimented with.

He said the appropriate state agency to determine whether GM foods were safe for consumption and should be allowed into the country is the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA through some genetic engineering.

These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a greater control over food's genetic structure and increased production.

GMOs have not been accepted in many countries across the world.

Apart from the United States, many European countries have resisted the introduction of GM foods.

There are efforts to introduce the products in Ghana with the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and other civil society organizations vehemently opposed to the idea.

They argue the introduction of GMOs will have serious implications for the country’s economy in the long term because peasant farmers will now relying on multinational seed producing companies to produce food.

Opponents of GMOs argue that the conventional farming practices will be destroyed, making Ghana completely dependent on multinational companies.

The Health Ministry says for the same reasons that Europe has rejected GMOs, Ghana must not accept the products.

The ministry’s position however, appears to contradict that of the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei.

Dr. Oteng-Adjei was reported as saying that with the passage of the Biosafety and Biotechnology Law, Ghana could now adopt GMOs.