30.08.2022 Press Release

RE: Approval For The Environmental Release Of GM Cowpeas By The National Biosaftey Agency

RE: Approval For The Environmental Release Of GM Cowpeas By The National Biosaftey Agency
30.08.2022 LISTEN



P. O. BOX WY 669



29 AUGUST 2022

Dear Sir,


The Centre for Climate Change and Food Security (CCCFS) is shocked to learn about the grant of permit by the NBA for the release of genetically modified cowpea (Bt Cowpea) developed by SARI.

Our surprise is actuated by the clandestine refusal of the NBA to grant our Centre very pertinent information regarding the application for permit by SARI which we requested for.

Pursuant to section 18 of the Biosafety Act, 2011 (Act 831) and gazette notice by the NBA, CCCFS submitted a position paper to the NBA. Amongst other things, we raised a preliminary objection to the application pending the supply of important information to enable the Centre take a conclusive stance on the issue. Further, we berated the NBA for shrouding the entire process in secrecy as, in our opinion, enough wasn’t being done to pull the public along this destiny-changing process.

Information requested were in line with section 18 (2) of the Biosafety Act, which mandates the NBA to release information deemed not confidential in line with a GM application for permit to members of the public who place a request for such information. We, thus, requested for information on the risk assessments being conducted. Minded of the regulation regarding intellectual property rights, we limited our request to information that essentially bother on the health of the environment and potential consumers of the product. There is no denying the fact that GMs have the potential to obliterate natural ecosystems, adulterate other biological organisms and germplasms, hence our request to be sure the current product is safe for the environment.

The opacity with which the NBA has handled this process lends credence to – and feeds into – the notion about the GM lobby and how they engage in underhand dealings. Is it the contention of the NBA that information on safety are confidential and thus not accessible to potential sufferers or beneficiaries of the GM cowpeas? CCCFS doubts this is the position of the NBA. As scientists, we insist on seeing evidence on the safety of all biological organisms before recommending them for public use.

Elsewhere, the release of an organism of this nature would have generated considerable interest since there could be a danger, real or perceived if the right precautions are not taken. In our view, the NBA has taken advantage of the reticence of Ghanaians on these matters, and violated sacred principles of co-creation. This is why CCCFS is playing a gatekeeping role for Ghanaians.

By this release, we are demanding the NBA as a matter of our right to information, to provide us with the details of the risk assessment done by the NBA. We expect the information to be provided to contain:

1. the methodology used to assess the environmental and consumption safety of the product;

2. details of the findings of the assessment.

We implore Ghanaians, particularly the media to take keen interest in this very important matter and not leave the regulatory body, NBA to have a field day.

Sulemana Issifu

Director of Research

Contact: +4915217593128

WhatsApp: +233243296543 & +4915217593128

Email: [email protected] & [email protected]


RTI Commission

Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, MEST

Minister for Food and Agriculture, MoFA

Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency

Minister for Health, MoH

President, Ghana Medical Association




National Biosafety Authority, Ghana