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Biosafety Authority Confirms Safety Of Registered GMO Products2 min read

Biosafety Authority Confirms Safety Of Registered GMO Products<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">2</span> min read</span>


The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has refuted recent claims regarding the registration and approval of 14 novel genetically modified (GM) products for cultivation.

The NBA recently granted approval to 14 products, comprising eight maize and six soybean products. However, the authority asserts that these are grains intended for direct use as food, feed or processing, refuting claims of novel genetically modified products for cultivation.

It vouched for the safety of the products and clarified that they are designated solely for use as food, feed and processing. These products have been registered solely to permit importation by individuals or groups, with no authorisation for planting purposes, it added.

“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),” NBA said in a statement to the B&FT.

The NBA explained that after a thorough risk assessment and evaluation, there were no adverse findings with any demonstrable history of biosafety concerns as the processes conformed to the laid down procedures in line with Biosafety Act, 2011 (Act 831) and with international best practices in deciding on any application brought before the authority.

“The authority, therefore, wishes to assure Ghanaians of the safety of GM product(s) that have received the NBA’s approval,” the statement reiterated.

The products, according to the authority, were submitted by Bayer West-Central Africa S.A and Syngenta South Africa, including a Bt Cowpea submitted by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI).

The authority disclosed that any entity interested in bringing these products will require an import permit from the NBA as stated by law.

Indeed, Argentina, Australia, Uruguay, Singapore, Thailand, USA and South Africa, among others, have already given similar approvals and have confirmed same to be as safe as their conventional counterparts.

NBA’s CEO, Mr. Eric Amaning Okoree, expressed concern on the development and said the call to reject any GM seeds that will be supplied is unfortunate.

The NBA, he noted, recognises the need for Ghanaians to adapt to the emerging plant breeding technologies in the agricultural space for sustained crop improvement and food security.

“We wish to reiterate the fact that the improved yield and sustained food security will rather inure to the benefits of farmers rather than impoverish them as being speculated by a section of the public.  Again, there is a robust biosafety system in place to ensure the safety of GMOs officially released in the country,” Mr. Okoree emphasised.