General News of Thursday, 5 December 2013


GMOs could already be in Ghana - FDA

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it is possible Genetically Modified (GM) foods could already have found their way into the country.

Head of the Biosafety Unit of FDA, Kwame Dei Asamoah-Otchere, said it is likely small quantities of the highly controversial genetically modified products may have entered the country from America, China and other developed countries.

"Considering the porosity of our borders, coupled with ignorance of business people, it is possible that some GM foods or some GM ingredients contained in the foods, may have entered Ghana in non-commercial quantities", Mr Asamoah-Otchere stated.

He makes these assertions based on the fact that more than 80% of the world's soya bean for instance come from countries where GM foods have been approved.

The CPP has raised "serious" concerns that if Parliament goes ahead to pass the Plant Breeders bill, it will introduce dangerous modifications in the DNA of foods causing diseases and deformities.

The Party at a press conference last week says the bill which has entered consideration stage in Parliament, is an attempt by "an overwhelming lobby" of multinational companies such as Monsanto, Du Pont, Sygenta, and Bayer to push a "sinister" agenda to control Ghana's food chain through unsuspecting lawmakers and on the blind side of Ghanaians.

Genetic Modification involves the mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes. When genes, usually come from a different species, are inserted into a new organism such as plants or animals, and take on properties and behaviours that it otherwise did not have.

GM tomatoes for example can bounce and its potatoes can glow in the dark, according to scientific reports cited by the CPP.

The Party explains that apart from assimilating nutrients in these foods, GM consumers will now be taking in genes that can influence human health in previously unanticipated ways.

Supporters of GMOs argue that the genetic modification of foods allows for increased food production and more resilient and nutritious crops. They believe GMOs offer a valuable tool for responding to the serious problem of malnutrition facing many people around the world.