14 GMO seeds not approved for cultivation – National Biosafety Authority

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has clarified that it has not approved the cultivation of the seeds of 14 genetically modified (GM) products in Ghana.

In an official statement, the National Biosafety Authority elaborated that the sanctioned GMO events are exclusively designated for food, feed, or processing purposes and are not intended for cultivation within the country.

Previously, the Peasant Farmers Association had voiced concerns, fearing that this decision could jeopardize Ghana’s control over its native agricultural systems.

Nevertheless, the NBA underscored that while the seed products have been registered, it is solely to facilitate their importation by interested parties. Any entity seeking to import these seeds must first obtain an import permit from the NBA, as per regulatory protocols.

“Therefore, the NBA wishes to state categorically that those events or products have not been imported into the country for food, feed or processing yet. It is important to note that the NBA as the government agency responsible for the regulation of GM and its related products has laid down procedures in line with the Biosafety Act, 2011 (Act 831) and with international best practices in deciding on any application brought before it.

Reassuring the public, the NBA affirmed the safety of the approved GM products, including the Bt Cowpea developed by SARI, and the 14 events submitted by Bayer West-Central Africa S.A and Syngenta South Africa.

These products, comprising eight maize and six soybean varieties, are intended for direct use as food, feed, or processing and are not seeds for planting.

“The Authority therefore wishes to assure Ghanaians of the safety of GM product(s) that have received the NBA’s approval; notably the Bt Cowpea submitted by SARI and the fourteen (14) events submitted by Bayer West-Central Africa S.A and Syngenta South Africa which are intended for food, feed or for processing.

“Registered products are not seeds for planting but for food, feed or processing the 14 approved products, made up of eight (8) maize and six (6) soybean events must be emphasised and are not intended for cultivation.

“They are, rather, grains for direct use as food, feed or for processing as stated above. This approval was granted under Section 13 of the Biosafety Act, 2011 (Act 831) and Regulation 15 of the Biosafety (Management of Biotechnology) Regulations, 2019 (LI 2383) following the evaluation of data and information supplied by the applicant and a thorough risk assessment by the NBA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC),” the statement added.

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