GMO Case: Court To Reconvene On June 8th
The case in which Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) is suing for an interim injunction on the commercial release of Bt cowpea and GM rice will reconvene at the Human Rights Division of the Accra Fast Track Court on Monday, 8th June 2015 at 9am. This is to correct an error in print in an earlier press release last month which stated June 11th as the next court date.
At the last hearing on May 11, 2015 the Judge Kofi Essel Mensah granted the request by counsel for the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) to join the case on the side of the defense. According to the Judge he was of the opinion that any party that wished to express its interest in the case was free to do so. It is expected that other parties will seek to join the case in line with this new development.
Since the last court appearance, FSG on May 23, 2015 joined millions of people worldwide across 6 continents, 56 countries and 452 cities including 5 countries from Africa, in the annual march against Monsanto. This year’s march was organized in collaboration with the Kanyan Akuafuo Kuo Society from the Brong Ahafo region in north central Ghana, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Vegetarian Association of Ghana. It was well attended in the two regions and marchers engaged a wide cross section of Ghanaians on the issue of GMOs.
It is the contention of FSG that Modern Biotechnology is a potent and novel technology that presents unique risks. It is in recognition of this that measures have been put in place to ensure the safe handling, transport, and use of genetically modified organisms resulting from Modern Biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health. The non-respect of these measures could lead to catastrophic consequences.
FSG is claiming that the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, of which Ghana is a signatory, the Biosafety Act, 2011, Act 831, as well as the Legislative Instrument 1887, which established the National Biosafety Committee (NBC),have not been respected. Particularly in the authorization of confined field trials and the conditions for commercial release of GM crops, where they relate to the threats by SARI "to embark on the multiplication of seeds of the Bt cowpea in commercial quantities" as early as this year, “for distribution to farmers in the three northern regions".
For Life, the Environment and Social Justice!
Edwin Kweku Andoh Baffour