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Feature Article of Friday, 9 November 2012

Columnist: Amponsah, John

RE: Ghana to begin GMO Testing

By John Amponsah

Although the politicians in Ghana’s parliament have done their bit and have allowed Monsanto lobbyists and scientists influenced by this corporate giant to pass the Bio-Safety Bill in Ghana, that does not stop conscientious objectors from continuing to point out the gross error these politicians in parliament have committed.

The simple fact is that there is strong current research showing the adverse effects GMOs on mammalian metabolism. Probably the only long-term study available (published in September 2012) of the effects of GMO has shown that one kind of Genetically Modified product (Monsanto’s GMO corn) is not only a health hazard but caused massive cancerous tumours to develop in rats fed on a long term diet of this corn. This led many countries to ban this product with immediate effect.

Interested parties can see the link below to find DISTURBING images of rats which developed these tumors: www.naturalnews.com/037249_GMO_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html

Let me just point out once again that the study referenced above is one of the few if not the only available LONG TERM study of the effects of GMO on mammalian metabolism. The peer-reviewed article published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal is entitled “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize”

It is with this in mind that I would like to point out for the record that Dr. Ibrahim Kwasi Atokple is misleading the Ghanaian public as he goes about “dispelling [the] general perception that GM foods may have some health implications on humans” (refer to Ghanaweb article published on 12th October 2012 entitled “Ghana to begin GMO Testing”)

If you think that such effects are limited only to lab animals such as rats then think again. This is not true. Again, there is research to back up what I am saying. Current research being carried out in Australia and in Canada is showing GMO toxins crossing the barrier from mother to child in pregnant women. The studies showed pregnant women and their children having high quantities of 3-methylphosphinico propionic acid (3-MMPA), a metabolite of gluphosinate (itself a substance used in GMO herbicides) as well as Bt toxin (GMO protein) Cry1Ab. Both substances are linked to GMOs. One can find studies that show that contact with 3-MMPA can lead to cancer, DNA damage and reproductive health problems.

So I would like to point these out to the good doctor (Ibrahim Kwasi Atokple) and his buddy/colleague Prince Addae who works for Monsanto as a geneticist as well as closely with Dr Atokple. You cannot tell me that Monsanto does not have a keen interest in Africa in general and West Africa in particular? Please do not mislead.

Ghana’s politicians are bought and sold on this issue and have caved in one way or another to the pressures of lobbyists representing foreign corporate interests such as Monsanto. I do not believe that it is beyond the power of Ghanaian parliamentarians to discern the possible health risks associated with a hasty acceptance of GMOs. Tanzania’s parliament has only recently had this debate and the good people of that country, being led by responsible parliamentarians, have come to the wise conclusion that GMOs are not for Tanzania. You can read about it on allafrica.com. In Ghana, the story is different. Politicians across the political divide are in bed with lobbyists and corporations such as Monsanto that support them. The Bio Safety Laws are nothing but legislative clothing to legitimize the cultivation of these dangerous (toxic) versions of plants. Yet I believe it is not too late. Even now, the right course of action can be taken. Act now to preserve present and future generations. History always ends up being our judge.

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