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Ghana approves first crops to undergo GMO confined field trials

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riceOn December 31, 2011, Ghana’s Biosafety Bill was given Presidential assent to become law, after it has been in Parliament for four years.

The Law, from the Biosafety Act, 831, 2011 will enable Ghana to allow the application of biotechnology in food crop production involving Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to enter the food production.

According to Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, the country has approved four crops to undergo GMO confined field trials (CFTs).

At a panel discussion organised by the US Embassy in Accra, Mr Eric Amaning Okoree, a Director at the Ministry, in a presentation mentioned that rice, sweet potato, cotton and cowpea have so far been approved for CFTs.

Mr Okoree indicated that a technical advisory committee has been formed to conduct risk assessment of all GM applications adding that institutional biosafety committees have also been certified for two research institutions.

Dr Walter Sandow Alhassan, a former Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and an expert in the GM field, noted that CFT for GM rice started with the Crop Research Institute (CRI) in April 2013.

Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo are the only countries in the sub-region that have biosafety legislations for commercial release.

By Ekow Quandzie

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  1. This is exciting times in Ghana for GM….lets see how it pans out and its benefits for the people of Ghana!!!

  2. Great, time for Ghana to be food secure!