Facebookers lambast Franklin Cudjoe for condemning anti-GMO demonstration


Anti-Genetically Modified Organism activists have responded with fierce criticism against Franklin Cudjoe, CEO of  policy think-tank IMANI after he took to social media and condemned Tuesday’s anti-GMO Plant Breeders Bill demonstration in Accra as a misplaced priority.

Franklin Cudjoe wrote on facebook
‘It would be depressing for the anti GMO demonstrators to learn that the food they had after the wearisome show of activism may in fact be GMO related. That said, I’d think the plant breeders bill needs a legal framework that could accommodate its passage ergo intellectual property rights. But shouldn’t the demonstrators be concerned about the towering economic barriers e.g. Taxes, bad roads and lack of storage and processing facilities that discourage availability of fresh agricultural products? Ah….’

The demonstration dubbed ‘Kick out GMO Plant Breeder’s Bill out of Ghana’ by organizers was attended  by a coalition of Farmers groups, Food Sovereignty Ghana, Civil society groups, concerned citizens and one political party, the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

The demonstration ended with a petition to Parliament. The Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho has since suspended deliberations into the controversial Plant Breeders Bill.

Demonstrators say GMOs have serious health implications and will force farmers to buy GMO seeds as the only certified seed thereby surrendering Ghana’s food sovereignty to multi-national GMO  seed producing companies.

But Franklin argues the demonstrators should focus on pressurizing  government into building good roads and providing social amenities.

Find below some of the strongly opposing comments by his numerous followers:

K enneth Samuel Baddoo https://www.facebook.com/sam.baddoo  Franklin, they can very much be worried about all of these social issues, heck, everyone does nothing but worry about these things. The difference is that with a few policy changes and governance shake up we can build new roads, sort out our priorities and focus on faster development. With the introduction of the plant breeders act on the other hand, a single year of enforcement translates into years of consequences. Now should it be passed before we review the legal framework, or should the legal framework be thoroughly thought out before it’s passed?

 
Mikey Omane-Achamfuor https://www.facebook.com/Kobby45  I don’t support this GMO thing, in fact I’m paranoid about it, because it makes it easier for the West and their corporations to control our agricultural output. Plus that is how the Anti-Christ will get to control world food supply, once he takes over. 

 
Maximus Ametorgoh https://www.facebook.com/maximus.ametorgoh  If they have messed up everything, they must not give away our seeds of life.

 
Romeo Koku Dowokpor https://www.facebook.com/maxromeo44  In fact, that is what the demonstrators are concerned about :”towering economic barriers eg. Taxes, bad roads and lack of storage and processing facilities that discourage availability of fresh agricultural products” That, these are issues that should concern the state and steps taken to address them because they are the main causes of post-harvest losses. Until such are addressed, how would the introduction of GMOs resolve them?. If the food we eat are GMOs or GMO related,don’t we deserve the right to know as consumers as is the case in the US so that we can make our choices between them and organic foods? Or we are not human enough or our state institutions don’t give a toss about that? No labeling, ‘no nothing’? The discussion even goes beyond that

 
Ernesto Yeboah https://www.facebook.com/ernesto.yeboah  Fix the roads, build the storage facilities, construct the processing factories…That has been exactly what the demonstrators have been about.

 
Aba Da-Woode   Franklin https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  dearest pls don’t pee on this parade if u wont join.  Kate Nkansa-Dwamena https://www.facebook.com/adawoode  n her folks are doing a great job. Too bad I couldnt join them. https://www.facebook.com/KateNkansa

 
Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  Boss, if you would give yourself TIME and SILENCE to ponder on the thought you’ve expressed in this post, YOU WOULD SLAP YOURSELF FOR YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE YOU WROTE IT YOURSELF. What! You just jumbled thoughts and ended up making NO STATEMENT.

 
Fadillai Dapilaa https://www.facebook.com/fadillai.dapilaa  global elites wanting to control food production.

 
Penelope S. Bartels-Sam https://www.facebook.com/s.bartelssam  I am EXTREMELY against the introduction of GMO foods in Ghana. Heck, we are hardly able to support our healthcare system, after beming so dependent on foreign foods. Now they will teach us how to do it here and empower the farmers to rather focus on profit rather than producing natural food! Obviously natural will become more expensive than the modified. I don’t see much good in this at all and I am unhappy that my beloved imani is championing this campaign. Restless.

 
Kwabena Nkrumah   Franklin Cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe ,  Bright Simons https://www.facebook.com/bbsimons ,  Kofi B Bentil https://www.facebook.com/kofi.bentil , I will be deeply disappointed  Imani Center for Policy & Education https://www.facebook.com/opana233  is in support of this EVIL GMO IN GHANA on the quit. I do not want to believe what I have heard and been reading elsewhere.

AND all those commenting should have a read read again here…..

“….. But shouldn’t the demonstrators be concerned about the towering economic barriers eg. Taxes, bad roads and lack of storage and processing facilities that discourage availability of fresh agricultural products? Ah….” https://www.facebook.com/imanicenter

 
Penelope S. Bartels-Sam  Very disappointing, Kwabena. I hope the imani team come out to state their position on this matter.  Bright Simons https://www.facebook.com/bbsimons   Kofi Bentil https://www.facebook.com/kofi.bentil   Franklin Cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe   Kobby Blay https://www.facebook.com/s.bartelssam  et al. https://www.facebook.com/kobbyblay

 
Romeo Koku Dowokpor https://www.facebook.com/maxromeo44  Selorm’s position is clear to me,he is against it per his commentaries so far that l have monitored. I have also read him talked about some farming initiatives that he intends introducing to help the youth of this country,but, l can only hope it is not GMO-related.

For Bright, l read him once raising some reservations on the matter and also expressed some disquiet about GMO introduction into the country. Truth is,l expected more from him and wanted him to be more blunt on his position.l know he is an intelligent and resourceful person and his appointment to the Board of Microsoft Africa(hope l didnt get it wrong) was based on pure merit. But l can only pray that his appointment to an organisation owned Bill & Melinda Gates,chief promoters of GMOs across the world would not ‘silence’ him in anyway in expressing his position on the matter. 

What is Franklin’s position? He has no position rather than the continuous ridiculing of our underresourced anti-GMO campaign. The first disappointing comment l read from him was when he asked the rather petty question whether any of the family members of anti-GMO campaigners have died from consuming GMO foods as if GMOs are sicknesses that can be detected at the hospital in a post-mortem test. This development happened after Abeku Adams intentionally mentioned the names of the crew at Imani and asked them to state their positions on the matter due to their defeaning silence when the issue took a national debate form.

Kofi Bentil? I am yet to read and hear from him.
We have read and heard Imani’s position on critical national issues and most of them are worth commending. We the followers of Imani want to know its position as a Think Thank on GMOs introduction into Ghana

 
Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  BOSS, as you can see YOUR READERS are not DUMMIES. The fact that they’ve been chanting in support of ALMOST every issue you raise here does not mean they don’t have MINDS OF THEIR OWN. Look through the comment and CHANGE YOUR MIND .NO ONE HAS YET SIDED WITH YOU HERE ON THIS POST!! Must this not tell you something?!!!!!

 
Kakey Mensah https://www.facebook.com/kakey.mensah  Jeez! can ppl just stop harassing Franklin! Most of anti-GMO criticism is made frm a position of pure ignorance. Plant breeders bill is not even abt GMOs so why this fuss?

 
Franklin Cudjoe  Sorry folks, the demonstrators are fighting the wrong battle..the horse already bolted. What the demonstrators believe they are fighting is already LAW. This is not about IMANI..It is about strategy and its wrong headedness…We have not made any definitive statement about GMOs. What we truly believe in is that even the plant breeder’s bill can’t operate in isolation. When was the last time you heard in our courts law enforcers implemeting the law. I bought many pirated CDs within the forecourt of the Customs HQ in the full glare of many of the officers. Sorry, look for another battle to fight and when you do STRATEGIZE…Don’t be like clueless politicians. Heck! Did the demonstrators talk to experts at all. They should speak with Dr  Abu Sakara Foster https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  , one o fthe world’s most respected agricultural thinkers. https://www.facebook.com/abusakara.mikefoster

 
Franklin Cudjoe   Romeo Koku Dowokpor https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  sorry if you thought I was ridiculing. I think the campaign lacks understanding of what they are fighting. Sorry following from last post on GMOs, I think I was misunderstood. Now this is what I meant. Sorry folks, the demonstrators are fighting the wrong battle..the horse already bolted. What the demonstrators believe they are fighting is already LAW. This is not about IMANI and its stance on GMOs.It is about strategy and its wrong headedness…IMANI has not made any definitive statement about GMOs. What we truly believe in is that even the plant breeder’s bill can’t operate in isolation. When was the last time you heard in our courts law enforcers wholly implemeting the IP law?. I bought many pirated CDs within the forecourt of the Customs HQ in the full glare of many of the officers just to test the law In fact they were also buying. Sorry, look for another battle to fight and when you do STRATEGIZE…Don’t be like clueless politicians. Heck! Did the demonstrators talk to experts at all. They should speak with Dr Abu Sakara Foster , one of the world’s most respected agricultural thinkers. And if it is the law passed in 2011 that they really want amended, then IMANI will join them. Right now, painful loss of energy keke.. https://www.facebook.com/maxromeo44

 
 
Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  Dr. Abu Sakara is A BABE…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202226480677228&set=p.10202226480677228&type=1

 
Franklin Cudjoe  Hotep, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha and you think this anachro-scientist is the best source for for intelligent discourse in science? sorry I met this chap in Canada and I was not impressed . Still talk to Dr  Abu Sakara Foster https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/abusakara.mikefoster

 
Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  Maybe because you were already depressed.

Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  I’ve read and listened to Dr. Abu Sakara and I found him nauseating.

Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO  Maybe you’ve met this one too in Cambodia, Sir.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202226499677703&set=p.10202226499677703&type=1

Romeo Koku Dowokpor https://www.facebook.com/maxromeo44  @Franklin

Did you read or hear what the Speaker of Parliament yesterday in response to our deep concerns? He didn’t only refer to the Plant Breeders’ Bill currently before parliament to temporarily suspended for wider consultations but he also talked about a relook/’review’ of the Biosafety Act 831,2011. This alone should tell you that we are not only fighting against Plant Breeders’ Bill but also the Biosafety Act that it should be repealed. If you still do not know fully our positions on such matters,please don’t go about making incorrect statements and half-truths about our campaign. Who told you the Plant Breeders Bill is not about GMOs or GMO related? I hope you have taken your time to read the bill carefully

The Bt Cotton was imported from South Africa and the Bt Rice and Cowpea seeds were also imported from Siat in Columbia and Australia. And these are the GMOs on field trial across the country. The overarching question is:Who owns these imported seeds and have patent rights over them? The answer is trite:foreign GMO agribusiness corporations.

Now,tie that in with the issue of intellectual property rights as the Plant Breeders’ Bill we are told is about as if we as a nation don’t already an intellectual property regime/institution in place.

Now, if you didn’t know Clause 20 (6c) of the Plant Breeders’ Bill talks about genetic engineering(GMOs) in relation to patent rights. I can say without mincing words that this Bill is all subtly about GMOs being pushed down our throats in the name of protecting some so-called local plant breeder.

Like l told a friend yesterday:”The Biosafety Act,831,2011 is the John Baptist that prepared the way for the coming of the Plant Breeders’ Bill,Jesus. Anyone who does not see the linkage between the former and the latter must do a serious rethink.

Dr.Abu Sankara? Forget about him.
 
Hotep Abeku Adams   Franklin Cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO : I am personally YET to see any “intelligent discourse” on the PENSIONERS’ money you are sweating over. I am struggling to understand the USE and the basis of your purported sense of Urgency with which you are ‘ranting’ over that. WAS IT BECAUSE CASH WAS INVOLVED? Yet I sat back and was following. I DIDN’T SEEK TO RUBBISH YOUR CAUSE of no NATIONAL BEARING. https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe

 
Franklin Cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  Romeo, thanks. Good luck.

 
Franklin Cudjoe   Bright Simons https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  posted: for the record IMANI has never discussed GMOs internally with a view to taking a stance on them. Agriculture hasn’t been a major focus and IMANI has never published any work on GMOs or made any official comments on the subject, just as they have made remarkable few comments on gender issues, early childhood nutrition, deforestation and a host of important national issues. Contrary to popular opinion in certain circles, IMANI does not address every issue. In the case of GMOs, there are already so many voices tackling the matter. IMANI tends to focus more on neglected issues, and would often work over time to bring them to national prominence. Such issues have in the past included the Jubilee oil field development work, the national electronic payment switch, assorted government-led public and/or affordable housing schemes, the early phase gas infrastructure project, liquefied natural gas policy, maritime border risks, Single Spine (long before it became topical), etc. Whilst attitudes to GMOs differ within IMANI, there is definitely NO concerted IMANI position to PROMOTE this technology in Ghana, among the myriads of immediately relevant, useful, and critical technologies required for national progress. https://www.facebook.com/bbsimons

 
Hotep Abeku Adams https://www.facebook.com/AFRICANHERO   http://www.davidsuzuki.org/david/

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.davidsuzuki.org%2Fdavid%2F&h=ZAQEsDIoPAQGh1Czlic9oQL5BEstji6A6_6OYMFVmyRFh-Q&s=1

David Suzuki | David Suzuki Foundation www.davidsuzuki.org http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.davidsuzuki.org%2Fdavid%2F&h=VAQE8DafuAQE8yhKBVNutLJnrhM2_kaKGu9NBSm6fmztkuw&s=1

David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.davidsuzuki.org%2F&h=dAQHQeMO9AQGeLEC6n2KCGlJBp8n0haCnswnm2El_wPDwCA&s=1

Kojo Nkansah https://www.facebook.com/kojo.nkansah  I am laughing. They should know GMOs are not chemicals. Simple. And the plant breeders bill has very little to do with GMOs.

 
Romeo Koku Dowokpor   Kojo Nkansah https://www.facebook.com/maxromeo44  Did you just write that? Jeeeeeeeeeeeez https://www.facebook.com/kojo.nkansah

 
Kojo Nkansah https://www.facebook.com/kojo.nkansah  Sure, I did. And it’s factual.

 
Franklin Cudjoe https://www.facebook.com/franklin.cudjoe  Perhaps all you who want my individual position on GMOs. NOT IMANI”s ,here you are. IMANI is yet to decide if this is a position it will share. “The one thing that could give us drought-resistant and highly productive seeds is biotechnology. Experience shows that genetically modified (GM) crops could increase yields by 25% and cost less than Green Revolution techniques. But GM produce faces bans from rich countries, especially the EU, using unscientific “biosafety” protocols under the guise of environmental protection. This kind of hysteria made Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe reject famine aid because U.S. or South African maize could not be certified GM-free. Africans therefore have to hope that the U.S., Canada and Argentina win their case against the EU barriers to GM crops: The World Trade Organization is due to rule early in 2006.” 2005!! Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com

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