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General News Tue, 20 Aug 2013

GM Technology to fight aflatoxins in maize - lecturer

...but CSOs remains worried about policy outcome

By Laud Nartey

A Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology at the University of Ghana, Dr Yaa Difie Osei has indicated that the emergence of Genetically Modified (GM) Technology would go a long way to eliminate the cancer causing agents in maize called aflatoxins, in Ghana. Contamination of crops by aflatoxins has become a major dilemma for many countries and their governments as a result of the massive destruction it causes to crop production and in the end affecting the economy negatively. Quite recently the Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated that 25 per cent of the world's food crops were infected by cancer-causing aflatoxins hence having a toll on the economy.

Also the U.S Centre for Disease Control has stated that over 4.5 billion people in the developed world are exposed to aflatoxins. It is in this light that Dr Difie Osei stated that considering the fact that Genetically Modified food are scientifically generated, all these problems including afla-toxins were going to be eliminated and in the end improve on the yields.

“Yes it will check aflatoxins in maize,” she answered.

In recent times an innovative bio control technology has been developed by the United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) in collaboration with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), depicting the seriousness that a lot of agencies attach to the aflatoxins menace.

Source: Public Agenda