Court dismisses Food Sovereignty’s challenge to commercialisation of GMOs

The Accra Human Rights Court One on Friday dis­missed the application by Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), a civil society organisation, chal­lenging the commercialisation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ghana.

The court’s said that the plain­tiff’s evidence failed to convince the court presided over by Justice Barbara Tetteh Charwey.

The court ordered the Na­tional Biosafety Authority (NBA) to label all GMOs on the market for the public to make informed choices.

The NBA was also asked to sensitise and educate the citizens on GMOs.

The FSG, together with Vegetarians’ Association and the Convention People’s Party in an application at the court, sought whether required processes and laws had been adhered to in the ongoing plans to commercialise GMOs.

Plaintiffs also sought a dec­laration whether the defendants- NBA, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Attorney General’s Office and Ghana National Farmers and Fishers’ Association, had proper and detailed docu­mentation in relation to the area of risk assessment and manage­ment in relation to the intention to release and commercialise cowpea and rice in the Ghanaian ecosystem and if they met the ac­cepted legal requirements in the handling of GMOs activities.

Plaintiffs again applied for in­terlocutory injunction to restrain defendants, their agents, servants and assigns from approving, releasing and commercialising GMO rice and cowpea until final determination of the case by the court.

Mr Eric Okoree Amaning, Chief Executive Officer of NBA, after the judgement, told journal­ists that there were no GMOs on the market as claimed during the nine-year trial.

He said there was no data indicating that GMOs was being brought from Nigeria to the Ghanaian market, thus, NBA could not publish any data on it as ordered by the court.

Mr Wayo Ghanamanti, counsel for plaintiff, also on the sidelines of court’s proceedings, said, it was a victory for Ghana.

He pledged that NBA would be monitored to ensure it fol­lowed the court’s direction.

Mr Ghanamanti said consuming GMOs was not the way to go as Ghana had fertile land for the cultiva­tion of conventional (crops) food stuff.

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