Business News of 2014-05-26

Food sovereignty, COFAM demonstrate against GMOs

Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) and Coalition of Farmers Against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Movement (COFAM) on Saturday held a demonstration against the use of GMO through a public march dubbed, ‘’The march against Monsanto (MAM)’’ in Accra.

Around 500 members of FSG and COFAM started the march from the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and proceeded to the Nsawam Road and to the Mallam Atta Market to create awareness on the issue of GMO products to traders in the Mallam Atta market.

The march was conducted in silence out of respect for the Ga Traditional Council ban on drumming and noise making.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Jason Tutu, Communication Lead of Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), explained that, the MAM is a global call to action aimed at informing the public, calling into question long-term health risks of genetically modified foods and demanding that GMO products be labeled so that consumers can make informed choices and decisions.

The FSG’s communication lead said the movement is also aimed at protecting our food supply, local farms and environment, promoting organic solutions, and exposing cronyism between big business and the government.

He said since the fight against GMO’s is a global fight, more than 400 cities in more than 52 countries on six different continents this year are also protesting against the substances same date (May 24,201).

He said, GMO products carry known health risks such as organ damage, sterility, infant mortality, birth defects, low sperm quality and increase risk of cancer.

Mr Tutu said in the past, Monsanto lied to the world that their products –DDT, Agent Orange and PCB’s were not poisonous, and today, the same company is producing GMO’s with high doses of pesticides, adding, ‘’so eating GMO products implies eating pesticides’’.

He explained that, the demonstration was also held to prevent the passing of a new law called the Plant Breeders Bill (PBB), which parliament is looking at passing soon.

“Our parliament has passed the Bio-safety Act and is looking at passing a new law soon-called the Plant Breeders Bill (PBB)’’, he said.

Mr Tutu said the PBB when passed into law will prepare the grounds for Monsanto to bring GMO products into Ghana.

The demonstration, he said, is very timely, because parliament will come back from recess on May 28, and they will attempt to push the bill into law, ’so this demonstration is our way of telling parliament we are vigilant , and we’ll make it difficult for them to pass the PBB’’.

Mr Tutu therefore urged all Ghanaians to support them fight against Monsanto and GMO product, as well as prevent parliament from passing the PBB.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, representative of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana said they are against the use of genetically engineering, because all the health complications we are having today are genetically related.

‘’We are not against science, but I believe there’re errors in science’’, he said.

Mr Nyaaba said further that ‘’GMO products are different from our traditional products, meaning, we are losing our cultural heritage’’.

Mr Evans Tawiah, Coalition for Ghana’s Independence Now, Convener, said if MP’s passes the PBB law, then they’re going to contribute to the supervising of the mass killing of Ghanaians.

He said GMO products are nothing but poisonous, but a country like France has banned the product because it’s given them kidney problems, and advised that Ghana should do the same.

Alexander Owusu Fordjour, Director, Earth Replenishers Foundation, advised that, if government want us to enjoy abundant of foods, it should rather put mechanisms and structures in place for storage, rather than throwing the surplus away, but the solution is not Monsanto or GMO’s.

Source: GNA
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