Ghana's Food Fight

Dr. Kwame Osei writes in Modern Ghana (Why Ghana should reject GM foods, Apr. 3, 2011) that, “GM Food is extremely dangerous because what the West and their scientists are not telling Africans is that GM foods contain poisonous organisms that are dangerous to the body’s immune system…”. Nonsense. This is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. GM foods have been eaten by millions of people around the world for over 15 years with no reports of ill effects. Indeed, GM foods are the most intensely studied food of all time and have been shown to be as safe, if not safer than conventional food. This fact is acknowledged all over the world by the greatest scientific institutions and regulatory bodies. In its annual State of the World’s Food and Agriculture report, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) states that the balance of evidence suggests that GM technology does not harm humans and GM seeds do not harm the environment.

Dr Osei stretches the truth further, stating, “Europe, as a result of these health concerns, has already banned the use of GM foods”. Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Sweden and Germany all produce GM crops. Throughout the world, more and more farmers are recognising the benefits of using the latest available technologies and are switching to GM seeds. In 2010, 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries planted 148 million hectares of GM crops.

Author: Jasson Urbach is an economist with the Free Market Foundation. The views expressed in the article are his own.

FMF Policy Bulletin/ 5 April 2011

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