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16.02.2014 General News

FSG Says No To Plant Breeders Bill

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Accra, Ghana, GNA, Food sovereignty Ghana, a grass-root movement dedicated to the promotion of food sovereignty in Ghana, has called for the repeal of the Plant Breeders Bill, as it marks the beginning of the hijack of food and agriculture.

A statement signed by Mr. Duke Tagoe, Deputy Chairman, Food Sovereignty Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, stated that the Bill as it stands, contains clauses that have serious implications on our sovereignty as a people.

The statement explained that these serious implications include unacceptable limitations on the policy space it leaves for the state to regulate the activities of plant breeders with reference to measures in protecting public health and the natural environment.

It said the Bill facilitates bio piracy which in relation does not require a breeder to disclose the origin of the genetic material used in developing the variety it wishes to protect, and neither does it provide mechanisms for prior informed consent and access and benefit sharing.

The statement said in the absence of these elements, the Bill sets up a framework for commercial breeders, to use local germplasm to develop varieties that are then exclusively appropriated by such breeders through the Plant Variety Protection system.

It expressed worry that “the Bill will lead to erosion of crop diversity and thus reduce resilience to threats such as pests, disease or climate change”.

The statement said Genetic Modified Foods (GMOs) are a consolidation of the seed industry and the erosion of farmers seed sovereignty through creating dependence on purchase of non-renewable seed,which serves as the vehicle for the introduction of patents and intellectual property rights. GNA

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