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Queen Mothers Rise Against GMO   
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Queen mothers in the Brong-Ahafo region have unanimously called on Parliament not to pass the Plant Bleeders Bill.

The women traditional leaders, representing all the 45 paramountcies in the region, noted that they would embark on series of demonstrations if Parliament ignores the concerns of the public and pass the bill.

The bill, which is designed to allow the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) into the country, is currently before the House and is believed to be at the consideration stage.

However, the queen mothers said the bill in its current form would pose a threat to public health, food security and the sovereignty of small farmers.

These came to light during a two-day workshop for Traditional Women Leaders in Environmental Management through Improved Hygiene and Ecological Sanitation organised by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

The President of Queen mothers Association of Brong-Ahafo Region, Nana Abena Boatemaa I, later in an interview, told DAILY GUIDE that the association supports the position of the Regional House of Chiefs, which issued a communiqué on July 9, 2014 to advise Parliament to reject the bill.

Nana Abena Boatemaa, who is also the queen mother of Odomase No.1 and National President of Association of Women Traditional Leaders, indicated that they would do everything possible to resist the passage of the bill as they are prepared to move to Parliament to engage the MPs to withdraw the bill.

The GMO Plant Breeder’s Bill has generated a lot of controversy in the country

It has been opposed in the country by the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Food Sovereignty Ghana, Coalition of Ghana Farmers Association, Movement for Farmers Right Against GMO Ghana, National House of Chiefs, Brong Ahafo Traditional Chiefs and many other civil societies in the country.

Owning to the development, the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho ordered the withdrawal of the bill for further consultation to be done by all concerned groups opposing it due to several petitions he received.

Traditional leaders and farmers across the country have argued that the introduction of GMOs would have consequences on conventional farming methods and jeopardize the livelihood of rural farmers.

According to reports, over 166 countries, including Ghana’s leading trading partner, the European Union (EU), have officially banned Genetically Modified Foods.

Wilberforce Laate, Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD, said the workshop, which was under their Eco-Sanitation Project, sought to discuss the traditional roles played by queen mothers and the need to revitalize their functions to ensure that they mobilize their people to maintain good sanitation in their various communities.
Source: Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako/Daily Guide

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