The US Food Sovereignty Alliance has honoured Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) as the 2022 International Food Sovereignty Prize winner for its outstanding work in promoting safe and organic food across the country and beyond.
The ceremony, which was held virtually, also awarded the Western Organization of Research Councils as the Domestic Honoree for food sovereignty.
Mr Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour, the Communications Director, FSG, said the international award came at a moment of reflection on the past decade and the contribution the FSG had made to promote human health, animal life and protect the environment.
“Ghana doesn’t need GMOs, farmers require investment in irrigation and post-harvest technology. Bringing in GMOs won’t stop crops from rotting on farms,” he stressed.
“…The warning is more relevant at this time since the government through its agencies, has shown a clear intention to release commercially, a genetically modified version of cowpea,” he said.
Cowpea, locally known as beans is a staple in the sub regional diet of millions and a key ingredient in “waakye”, “tugbaani”, and “koose” among others.
“Our fundamental concern with this novel technological innovation is the speed to market with a clear lack of guidance from research on the effects from its consumption over an acceptable period of time,” he said.
Mr Baffour bemoaned the approval of an application for the commercial release of the GM cowpeas by the National Biosafety Authority, which officially handed over a deregulation permit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research a few days ago.
“The average Ghanaian doesn’t want any changes made to our cowpeas (black eyed pea) and inherited staple foods and they do not want any interference that will destroy food safety in Ghana and across the continent,” he added.
The Communications Director lamented what he claimed as lack of sensitivity to mining activities and called on government to consider urgent and strong steps to restore water bodies that were being destroyed by the act.
The advocacy by the FSG, Mr Baffour said, had encouraged some people to go into in backyard farming, especially as child diabetes and cancers were on the rise.
“We will continue to invest in our advocacy because many people are realising the impact of chemicals on our foods and that is progress although there’s still more to be done,” he said.