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GMO PROTEST IN GHANA

Posted by blackstarlions on October 24, 2013 at 5:35 AM

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GMO PROTEST UPDATE

So while the news took a little while to come we finally did hear some news from the BBC on Monday, 21st October. It was not on Focus on Africa as we would expect but on Business Nightly, a half hour show starting at 7:30pm. What we are hearing is that outside of S. Africa, none of the other African nations are too thrilled about embracing GMOs. Many of the leaders and spokespeople feel that it is being pushed strictly as a way of making money for the corporations. In particular Ghana was mentioned because of the protest that occurred on the Saturday, 12th October. Ghana’s government is eager to bring in GMOs and feel there’s nothing wrong with them. The leader of the Food Sovereignty movement is not of the same mind. His main concern is that no testing has been done to verify the safety of these products. He also didn’t like the fact that farmers would have to buy seeds year after year. The presenter put out a challenge to have genetically modified cocoa and mentioned that these three crops were already genetically modified here in Ghana: rice, cowpeas (also know as black eyed peas) and sweet potatoes. We already see lots of GMO rice around the world so that is not surprising, but why cowpeas? Why sweet potato?

At present I am awfully suspicious of our tomatoes. This is the season for Navrongo or Roma and they are looking a bit too perfect. Maybe they are being picked too green and so when we buy them they are remaining firm, but they don’t seem to be the same as in the past. No mention was made of tomatoes though.

Some people like to use the claim that those who oppose GMOs are opposed to progress, but the truth is that we don’t know how that spliced in gene could affect us. What of pregnant women? We are not too distant from the disasters of thalidomide and DES (diethylstilbestrol). Thalidomide was used to calm morning sickness, or the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and we ended up with babies being born with deformed limbs. DES was used to prevent miscarriages and it was years before doctors would be caught up in lawsuits because the girls born under the effects of DES developed abnormal cervical cancers.

What we could use is greater respect, assistance and even teaching for our local farmers. Help farmers with organic crops and the improvement of soil through composting, irrigation techniques and crop rotation. The land is here. Let’s use it in ways to maintain the productivity for future generations to come.

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