Ghana's government is considering new laws that will facilitate the regulation of genetically modified (GM) food in the country.

The Biosafety (Management of Biotechnology) Regulations 2019, a Legislative instrument, has been introduced in parliament and is currently waiting approval. It operationalizes the National Biosafety Act 2011 which permits the entry of GMOs in Ghanaian markets and sets the functions of the National Biosafety Authority. The document also specifies the committees that will aid the government in regulatory procedures such as application processes, obtaining import and export permits, monitoring and enforcement to ensure the safety of GM foods, and public education on GMOs.

 

Ghana's Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, Innovation, Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has expressed his full support for the Biosafety Regulations and appealed to the 275 members of parliament for its approval.

 

In his memo to parliament, Dr. Boateng underscored the significance of the new law and praised GMOs for its positive impact on agricultural productivity, which has a great potential in addressing the food needs of the country. "The act aims at regulating biotechnology to ensure an adequate level of safety to human health, and the environment in the development, transfer, handling and use of GMOs and also establish a transparent and predictable process in reviewing and making decisions on GMOs in Ghana," he said. Dr. Boateng also stated that modern biotechnology can be utilized to develop drought-resistant food crops and biofertilizers; enhance nutritional value and extend shelf-life of foods; and reduce the use of machinery on farmlands therefore protecting the environment.

 

For more details, read the news article in Ghana Web.