Ghana hosts forum on biosafety policies

Dr George Owusu Essegbey, Director of Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, has called for effective participation of policy makers, scientists and the public to achieve the importance of biosafety regime.

He said Ghana needs to ensure transparent, logical and administrative procedures backed by a legally enforceable regulatory regime for biosafety in the country.

He said this would help guide the environmentally sound and safe management of modern biotechnology for national development.

Dr Essegbey made this known during the third monthly session meeting of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) on the theme: “Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosafety Policies in Ghana,” in Accra.

The meeting was aimed at bringing together stakeholders in biotechnology and facilitate interaction between scientists, journalists, civil society groups, law makers and policy makers.

The initiative served as a platform for stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences and explore new avenues for un-leashing biotechnology.

Biotechnology involves the use of genes, cells and tissues to manufacture substances including food.

Modern biotechnology is regarded in Ghana as a promising technology which has a potential in the national quest to improve the living conditions of the population, increase food security and enhance health delivery.

There is, however a genuine concern on the potential risks and benefits of modern Biotechnology or third generation biotechnology among the public.

Dr Essegbey mentioned some of current constraint facing the biosafety as limited resources for capacity building, information access and public participation and gaps in biosafety and related legislation.

He expressed the hope that the implementation of biosafety framework would help develop a critical mass of national knowledge and strengthen Ghana’s research fraternity to enhance the needed support for industries.

OFAB Ghana Chapter which is the sixth to be established in Africa is a collaborative initiative between the African Agricultural Technology Foundation based in Kenya and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

OFAB seeks to promote and sustain a well informed and interactive society capable of making decisions regarding research, development, regulation and commercialisation of agricultural biotechnology products.

Source: GNA

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