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Fighting Genetically Modified Technology In Ghana

Comment: Re: Fighting Genetically Modified Technology In Gh

Author:
Nii Ashitey
Date:
2013-10-22 05:00:05
Comment to:
Fighting Genetically Modified Technology In Ghana


Scientists and technical researchers in developing countries have recommended the innovation platforms of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology (ICT), and geographic information systems (GIS). Through these four platform technologies they said Africa has the opportunity to promote its agenda concurrent with advances made in the industrialized world.

Unlike other regions, Africa’s poor infrastructure represents a unique opportunity to adopt new approaches in the design and implementation of infrastructure facilities. One most neglected aspect of infrastructure investments is their role in stimulating technological innovation. Roads, water facilities, railways, telecommunications networks, and energy systems represent just a portion of the web of national and regional infrastructure necessary for food security, agricultural innovation, and agriculture-based economic development.

Having been cajoled by US into finally joining other African countries with the passing of the biosafety Act which has since received presidential assent and become law, even though few Ghanaians know what a GMO is, and what health and environmental risks these might pose, the challenge is now how to build our infrastructure to accommodate the technological yields we expect from the biosafety technology.

Transport infrastructure is critical to move inputs to farms and products to market; irrigation is essential for increasing yields and crop quality; energy is a vital input, particularly for value-added food processing. The use of transgenic crops is said to reduce the use of active pesticide ingredients It is also said to also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a considerable margin. The benefits to biological diversity from this technology have therefore being touted by these advocates as invaluable.

The US is at the forefront with its multi national companies have managed to cajole our governments into line by giving the go ahead with commercial farming with GM seed technology. Many opponents of GM crops have pointed to the role of multinational companies that sell GM "hybrid" seeds that do not self-pollinate, compelling farmers to buy new seeds from the same companies each year, as well as their pesticides and herbicides.

The claim is made that GMOs are designed to help farmers, increase their yields and preserve the environment but they have not told us the effect of this experiment on human health and the environment. Instead what the evidence show is that the whole technology is built on a business model designed to serve the interest of multi national corporations. Because they owe the patents and royalties they dictate the price of seeds farmers pay and because there is no competition their prices will continue to escalate. Monsanto for example because of its global dominance in this area of technology has become a monopoly that control the market at the risk that there will not be a conventional or alternative seeds available after a few years.

These are real concerns and with the passing of the biosafety technology in to law and with its commercialization the government owes us a duty to allay some of these concerns and fears by explaining to Ghanaians what is happening on this front because these are matters bordering on the environment and human health and it seems to me that the whole experiment is shrouded in secrecy. As for me what frightens me even more is the definition of the technology. According to the World Health Organization, Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) are "organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally."

Personally I don't think an unnatural occurrence in the food chain could be healthy when there are more questions than answers on the technology. More so when the long term effect is unknown to science. Are we tampering with the lock on Pandora box?.

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10-21 23:49
 
 
 
Re: Fighting Genetically Modified Technology In Gh
Nii Ashitey
10-22 05:00