Graphic forwards petition on GMOs to Parliament on behalf of journalists

The Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) has forwarded a resolution by 40 journalists who attended a day’s seminar on GMOs to Parliament on the need to delay the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill.

The journalists urged the parliamentarians to thoroughly debate the bill before passing it into law.  

Appeal to parliamentarians
They appealed to the parliamentarians not to rush the debate on the bill, expressing their belief that “further engagement of all stakeholders will enhance the outcome of the debate in the House and the final legislation will address the fears and anxiety of all Ghanaians.”

Seminar on GMOs
The journalists were part of media practitioners who attended a day’s seminar, organised by the GCGL  and the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD).

The seminar sought to equip the journalists with ample knowledge on GMOs and the Plant Breeders’ Bill to enable them to do in-depth write- ups on the topic.

The resource persons took the journalists through the benefits and the risks associated with the GMOs, and the Plant Breeders’ Bill, which is currently before Parliament for consideration and its implications if passed into law.

Need for thorough debate
The journalists said many Ghanaians were uncertain about the relationship between the passage of the bill and the introduction of GMOs in the country. They said all Ghanaians must subject the bill and issues concerning GMOs to further interrogation so that Ghanaians would make the best choice. 

Concerns of PUSAG
In a related development, the Private Universities Students’ Association of Ghana (PUSAG) has also called on Parliament to vote out the Plant Breeders’ Bill.

It further advised Ghanaians to reject any attempt by any group of people to adopt GMO foods, which would be propagated in the unlikelihood event of parliament approving the bill.

These were contained in a statement jointly signed by Benjamin Panlogo-Logodam and Raphael Apetorgbor, the National President and National Media Relations Officer respectively of PUSAG.

The Plant Breeders’ Bill and its implications
The statement cautioned that the passage of the Plant Breeders’ Bill would allow the importation and exportation of genetically engineered or genetically modified seeds. The bill is yet to be p[assed  by Parliament.

It said among others that the passage of the bill would be detriment to national development and would ultimately surrender the economy to the multinational companies. 

The statement said GM seeds are contract barring seeds, meaning that farmers cannot replant from the same seeds they have used but would have tocontinue to buy from the seed companies. 

“This would cause more hardship to our farmers and also cause the devaluation of our cedi,” the statement said.

It contended that assenting to the plant breeders’ bill would be closely associated with the Bond of 1844, paving up way for neo-colonialism.

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