Saturday, October 05, 2013

Food Is A Weapon - Ghanaians Fight Against GMOs

Food Sovereignty Ghana is calling for an open debate on the issue of GMOs to set the record straight as well as to generate answers and questions in order to inform the Ghanaian public, instead of attempting to impose GMOs on people without their knowledge or consent
Our attention at Food Sovereignty Ghana has been drawn to an article in the online edition of the Daily Graphic of 20 September, 2013, ‘GM crop production making progress’, by Jojo Sam. In the said article, the objections of Food Sovereignty Ghana to the GM technology were summarized as follows:

‘But there are some in the country, including Food Sovereignty Ghana, an advocacy movement, who see the introduction of GM crops as a risky venture for the country considering that a majority of farmers who are illiterates would find it difficult if not impossible to cultivate modified crops.’ This is a complete distortion and an unconscionable misrepresentation of our movement in its objections to the imposition of GMOs on Ghanaians by some civil servants at the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology.


First of all, FSG wishes to address the false claim that our objection to GMOs is that farmers are ignorant. Nothing could be further from the truth. We rely on our farmers for nutrition and sustenance. They are key to our health and happiness. Some farmers may not be literate, but they are not ignorant, and they do know farming. Farmers are not asking for GMOs or patented seeds. The FSG objection is that the GMO lobby is trying to fool farmers and consumers into thinking that this dangerous and outdated technology is safe and benign. The GMO lobby's overarching interest in ‘farmer education’ is to intimidate them not to save seeds for replanting! The GMO lobby is trying to push through legislation and pollute the land with GMOs with no information and debate, and before Ghanaians know what is going on. There is nothing that indicates GMOs are safe, and mounting evidence points to serious dangers.

Food Sovereignty Ghana has called for a ‘moratorium on the cultivation, importation and consumption of genetically modified foods.’ Our group also called ‘for the need for Ghanaians to clearly understand the full implications associated with the cultivation of genetically modified foods before embracing the technology.’

We also sounded ‘the warning that if Africans fail to get our act together, GM patent domination of our agriculture could be far worse than the combined effects of Apartheid, Colonialism and Slavery! Remember the words of Kissinger, 'Food is a weapon!’

The food-as-weapon policy continues unabated, demonstrated by Monsanto, Syngenta, and allied multi-national corporations’ unrestrained hunger to control Africa and what and whether Africans eat.


We further reiterated that ‘Ghana is a democratic and a sovereign state, and the issue of what we eat and grow affects the well-being of each and every Ghanaian. Hence there is a need for a broad consensus after a thorough, open and transparent debate before embarking on a process of gene contamination in our food chain that is absolutely irreversible. We believe that a decision of such far-reaching implications is a matter that cannot be left solely in the hands of trade negotiators, investment experts, or agricultural engineers. It is essentially a matter of political economy, public health, national security, biodiversity, and environmental sanity, in which we are all stake-holders.’

Taken from here

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