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Opinions of Monday, 27 April 2020

Columnist: Ebo Nyarko

USA using GMO to exert its influence in West Africa

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The United States of America continues to implement its energy of global dominance on the black continent; more and more pulling in to its orbit of political and economic interests of West African countries, including Ghana.

One of the tools that the White House is using to strengthen Washington’s position in this region is the promotion of genetically modified seeds and plants produced by the transitional company—“Monsanto”—to the Ghanaian market.

However, their utilisation will cause the further necessity to purchase new batches of seeds from the American company, which will make the Ghanaian farming sector dependent in foreign supplies.

During his visit to Ghana from 28th to 31st of October, 2019, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the United States of America, Stephen Censky, discussed with his Ghanaian colleague, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the cooperation in the agricultural sector and declared the necessity to expand trade turnover of agriculture products between the two countries.

However, America withheld that the leading supplier of such products to West Africa is a transnational company” Monsanto”—the world manufacturer of genetically modified organisms-seed and agricultural chemicals that cause human oncological diseases.

An advantage of such cooperation that was stated by S.Censky is also doubtful.

Particularly in case of import of modified sowing crops in Ghana, agricultural farms will have to buy additionally the “Monsanto” chemical without which the growing of transgenic seeds is practically impossible.

The deputy minister of agriculture of the United States of America also passed over this fact in silence. As a result such cooperation can strike at budgets of small agricultural enterprises and even ruin them.

The benefit of GMO-production for human and livestock isn’t still proved, and the real harm for consumer’s organism occurs, particularly the most striking example of this is a lawsuit against “Monsanto” by Dwayne Johnson to the tune of 289 million US dollars produced and certified by this corporation to treat the plants, which caused a lymphoma.

American manufacturers of agricultural production are withholding or intentionally hiding the results of research into the effects of GMO on the human organism.

However, an independent examination led by French scientist, Gilles-Eric Seralini, proved that consuming modified corn is the reason for cancer development with animals, therefore with human.

However, the researchers were subjected to criticisms by genetic engineering adherent who made references to mistakes supposedly made during the experiment.

Ghana Foods and Drug Authority and Food Sovereignty Ghana must conduct their own independent researches into the effect of “Monsanto” GMO-production on human’s health and environment before making a decision on its certification and import to the country.

Ghanaian authorities should examine more carefully already existing scientifically substantiated national technologies in the country, enabling to increase the harvest and to make its more resistant to hot climate and insect without genetic engineering.

In this context, Ghanaian department of agriculture must have a policy towards prohibiting the using of GMO in the country and increase financing of national agro-project and small households.