Should Africa Go GMO Free? An Action Brief.

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“Food of the people, for the people, and by the people!”

Campaign: “Just Say No To GM Foods!”


Action Brief On The Campaign Against GMO Contamination In Ghana

This initiative is the brainchild of Pan-Africanist International, following the frustrations in getting the Ghanaian media to publish most of the articles the founding members were sending for publication. The idea of having a group directly focusing on the menace of genetically modified organisms, was first suggest by a regular contributor to the P_AI website, Crossed Crocodiles, to Mr. Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah, Executive Director of P-AI.

Mr. Jehu-Appiah then contacted Ms. Nana Ama Amamoo, who was living in London, and the first three members began a series of exchanges by email, discussing the way forward. In the meanwhile, Ms. Ara Oforiwa who was following P-AI on Twitter and tweeting and responding to the tweets on GMOs joined in. Mr. Jehu-Appiah then suggested contacting Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., to ask for a venue for a special brainstorming session to be arranged at the Accra Freedom Centre. He therefore put Mr. Jehu-Appiah into contact with Mr. Duke Tagoe, who was in charge of the Accra Freedom Centre, to book a date for the first meeting.

The 21st of March was fixed, and emails were sent to all those who had in one way or other expressed interest in championing the cause. Here are some of the sound bites of that historic meeting:



Thursday, 21st March, 2013, at the Accra Freedom Centre:


Part One: Introduction by Comrades Duke Tagoe and Kweku Dadzie: Part 1. OUR FOOD UNDER OUR CONTROL – Audio First Meeting Thursday, 21st March, 2013, Accra Freedom Centre

Part Two: Preliminary Remarks by Comrades Kweku Dadzie (Continued from Part 1) and Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah, (Nana Akyea Mensah, by Skype, from Belgium)  OUR FOOD UNDER OUR CONTROL 2 – Audio First Meeting Thursday, 21st March, 2013, Accra Freedom Centre


Part Three: Round Table Discussions 1, Contribution From Comrade Nii Aryeh: Part 3 Round Table Discussions: Comrade Nii Aryeh On Social Media

Part Four: Round Table Discussions 2, New Arrivals: Ara, Dr. David Pessey, and others… Contribution by Ara Oforiwa “On the need for a direct narrative”, and Comrade Dadzie on “Getting the campaign started…” Part 4: Round Table Discussions – 2: Ara Oforiwa and Comrade Dadzie On Mobilization Strategies

Part Five: Round Table Discussions 3, Clarification of Origins, by Comrade Tagoe, and  “The approach must be political, Contribution by by Dr. David Pessey. Part 5: Round Table Discussions – 3: Clarifications on Origin of Group” by Comrade Tagoe, and “The apprach must be political” Contribution by Dr. David Pessey.

Part Six: Round Table Discussions 4, Continuation: “The approach must be political”, by Dr. Pessey. Part Six: Round Table Discussion, 4 Continuation of “The approach must be political” by Dr. David Pessey

Part Seven: Round Table Discussions 5, “Maintaining Collective Control Over Our Genetic Resources…” by Dr. Pessey

Part Eight: Round Table Discussions 6, “The Fundamental Problem Of The Ghanaian Farmer Is The Security Of Land Tenure, Not GM Seeds” by Dr. David Pessey.

Part Nine: Round Table Discussions 7, “On Self-Definition And The Need For A Comprehensive Approach To Agriculture” by Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah.

Part Ten Round Table Discussions 8, “Research And Inventory On The State Of Affairs, Where Do Farmers Get Their Seeds Today?” by Comrade Kweku Dadzie.

Part Eleven: Round Table Discussions 9, “Key Issues of the GM Debate” Comrade Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah


The name Food Sovereignty Ghana was immediately suggested by Mr. Jehu-Appiah, but the majority at the meeting preferred “Our Food Under Our Control!” Hence the first name adopted was Our Food Under Our Control. Not satisfied, Mr. Jehu-Appiah again raised an objection to the name at the subsequent meeting after writing extensively to explain what “food sovereignty” was about. This time he was strongly supported by Comrade Raswad Nkrabea, and finally Food Sovereignty Ghana was born.


Should Africa Go GMO Free?

Ghana On The Verge Of GMO Contamination

Come this year’s planting season, that is, within a matter of weeks, Ghana is poised to roll out its first row of genetically modified seeds into our food chain. This revelation came out in the course of a Parliamentary Vetting of Hon. Clement Kofi Humado, as required by the Constitution of Ghana prior to being appointed as a Minister of State. The Minister of Food and Agriculture designate, made a rather startling observation:

Hon. Humado indicated that when given the nod, he would want to see that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are used by commercial farmers saying, “Parliament recently passed the legal framework and regulatory mechanism and we will have to liberalize the situation so farmers who are interested in all types of seeds including GMO seeds will be allowed to use it. I will want to see that GMOs are used by commercial farmers.” [1]


Hon. Humado Taking an oath before the Parliamentary Vetting

This is against the backdrop that in the run-up to the Presidential elections in 2012, one of the key elements cited by the NDC supporters against the NPP was the accusation of “the opposition New Patriotic Party and its presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of being puppets of multinationals such as the United States’ agricultural company Monsanto.” For example, in predicting a win for the NDC, Africa Confidential published an article on 16 November 2012, Elections 2012: Mahama ahead by a hair, in which it pointed out that “NDC critics claim the NPP’s agricultural expansion policies are based on imposing Monsanto’s genetically modified seed varieties on local farmers. More widely, they paint the centre-right NPP as the party of ‘bosses in suits’ who have little understanding of or interest in the lives of the urban or rural poor.” [2]

The Pan-Africanist International was one of the organisations that flagged the NPP Manifesto on Agriculture. In an article “The NPP Manifesto on Agriculture is Bogus and Fraudulent!“, the P-AI argued that:

“Like the poor cat in the adage, who wanted to catch the fish but did not want to wet its paws, the NPP wants a mandate to introduce Genetically Modified Organisms into our food chain, but they do not want a discussion! They do not even want the people to get the full picture, even less, to be informed! We are going to discuss this, whether they like it or not! And we are going to inform the good people of Ghana. There is something fundamentally flawed in the bid by the NPP to seek the mandate to assault our agriculture under false pretences. We want the NPP to come out to clearly explain that anomaly, or to formally rule out the introduction of GM crops under their administration. The people of Ghana need to know if a vote for the NPP is equal to a vote for GM crops. The NPP is being unfair to Ghanaians by asking them to vote NPP on the basis of promises to provide “improved seeds”, a well known term commonly used to disguise and greenwash the fact that those seeds are genetically modified organisms that carry with them a myriad of dangers.”  [3]

GMO Contamination: A Real And Present Danger!

The introduction of genetically modified crops into our food chain is nothing but an unmitigated disaster. There is no independent science studying the performance or the safety of GMOs. The agrochemical companies forbid it by contract. Claims for performance and yields or claims of safety and efficacy can only be regarded as self serving and speculative. There is no independent evidence to support them.

GMOs are not designed to help farming, farmers, increase yields or preserve the environment. They are a predatory business model designed to further enrich giant corporations. Because of patents and royalties the price of seeds farmers pay will continue to climb. Monsanto buys up or crushes the competition, so there are no conventional or alternative seeds available after a few years.

GM traits don’t improve yield, it is the underlying quality of the unpatented germplasm, or seed, plus soil quality and water that determine yields. GMO crops are providing opportunity for proliferation of super insect pests and super weeds. Super weeds, resistant to herbicides, now occupy 1/2 of US farmland, in some areas, 90%. GMOs therefore increase the use of increasingly stronger herbicides and pesticides, contrary to the claims made for them, claims that they decrease use of chemicals and are good for the environment.

Farmers are caught by GM crop failures and by the increasing price of seeds, plus the agrochemicals, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, with no way out or relief available, leading to hundreds of farmer suicides in India. Monsanto uses the courts aggressively and sues farmers who inadvertently grow patented GM crops, even if they are growing them accidentally due to cross pollination or other legally obtained seeds. US and Canadian courts have supported Monsanto, awarding huge judgements against farmers.

The USDA is not even trying to regulate large areas of GMO research. How can countries, particularly with the often limited resources in developing countries tackle the problems of the unintentional release of GMOs and the resulting damage to native crops and the damage to biological diversity? Seralini’s study of the tumours produced in rats fed glycophosphate resistant GM corn should make us all call for more independent scientific studies of the properties of GM foods, and of their long term effects on humans and on the environment.

Thus the attempt by the NDC government to go ahead with commercial farming of GM seeds is clearly a fundamental betrayal of all those who supported the NDC in opposition to the real and present danger the NPP represented in their obvious bid to introduce GMOs into our food chain. The struggle now is to stop the NDC from carrying out such an unconscionable mischief. A people with a history of 500 years of foreign domination of the most horrible forms, including slavery, apartheid, colonialism, and neo-colonialism, and all forms of imperialist aggression, deserve to be treated better than this by their own elected representatives.

These moves to impose genetically engineered crops on Ghanaians by Ghana’s political class, both in the opposition and within the ruling government ought to raise a serious alarm that imperialism has not finished with us yet. In the NDC, they have found a convenient stooge to sow the new chains of 21st century enslavement of the people. Where a government becomes an accessory to the new imperialist scramble for Africa, to the detriment of the very people they have been elected to serve, it loses its legitimacy. The least that can be asked is to compel the government to account for its actions.



[1]  Parliament Vets Minister Designate, Tuesday, January 29th, 2013:

[2] Elections 2012: Mahama ahead by a hair, 16 November 2012,

[3] NPP Manifesto on Agriculture is Bogus and Fraudulent! September 10, 2012,

Join the Campaign:

It is high time we let them know that they can forget about it!



Campaign: “Just Say No To GM Foods!”

Weekly Meeting: Our Food Under Our Control

Time: Every Thursday, at 5.00 pm,

Venue: At the Accra Freedom Centre, Kotobabi Avenue, Kokomlemle, Accra,

(next door to the Insight Newspaper Office, and near Benz Gate at Mogya Bi Ye Dom).

For further information, please contact:

Comrade Duke Tagoe, Accra Freedom Centre,

Telephone: (+233) (0)265 743 484; or 0234341541.




Should Africa Go GMO Free?


Part One: Key Issues In The GMO Debate

“Food Is A Weapon”
“No Food Shall Be Grown That We Don’t Own!”
“The White Man’s Dream For Africa”
Are We Safe With GM Foods?
Green & Poor Washing Africa With A Failed Technology

1. “Food Is A Weapon”









Food is a weapon. – Earl Butz, 1974, the United States Secretary of Agriculture

The focus of this segment is to take a look at the implications of seed patents, disappearance of natural seeds, and the monopoly of food by giant multinational corporations. Fortunately, if we are to learn from our history, we would not require a genius to point out the extreme dangers associated with having foreign multinational corporations in control of whether we live or die. Our history over the period of the past 500 years has been a history about foreign domination.

A people with a history of slavery and colonialism must not find it too hard to understand the new forms of bondage that are creeping in and being designed and reinforced with chains much cheaper and much more effective than the metal shackles, and the military accoutrements associated with slavery, cannon balls and all. The lesson is a serious one because the use of food as a weapon surpasses all chains.

It is a widely known fact that hungry people will do anything in order to get food. Whoever is able to control the access to the food of the people, controls the people. Anthony Gucciardi puts it nicely in How food is being used as a weapon, when he writes:

“When people begin to starve instinctive primal triggers lead to a desire to do absolutely anything for food. Those with food, whether it is the government or a nearby family, will have complete power over others. Food could essentially be used as a weapon, thousands of times more powerful than money or most any other resource. But even in current times, food is used as a weapon by those in power through the use of government regulations and chemical additives that destroy both your health and your bank account. Artificial inflation and speculation, toxic substances hidden in the food, and government regulations are but a few examples. But where did the idea of using food as a supremely powerful weapon begin?” []

Of course, throughout history, examples are replete with the use of food as a weapon of war. “Sieges of fortified positions have been used since time immemorial to starve, demoralize, and physically weaken the ensconced combatants. Pictorial representations in Egypt depict sieges over 4,000 years ago, while the Iliad of Homer describes the siege of Troy by the Greeks over 3,000 years ago. It, like many of the numerous sieges that followed, ended not through force of arms, but through deception and treachery.” []

The current sanctions against Iran could have been far more devastating and effective if Monsanto had a monopoly over the seeds in that country. In surrendering our natural and fundamental rights to seeds to multinational corporations, we surrender our very sovereignty to them.

Anthony Gucciardi answers his own question. In the article he explains that, in 1974, the idea of using food as a weapon was introduced in a 200-page report ( by US politician and former Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger. The report, entitled National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests, stated that food aid would be withheld from developing countries in need until they submitted to birth control policies that would effectively sterilize large numbers of the population to curb growth.” [2]

In this document, Dr. Kissinger writes:

“There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.” [3]

The transition from the use of “food aid” as a tool in international diplomacy to “food monopoly” as a weapon of control has only been made possible through the patents on life… TO BE CONTINUED… Focusing on Life Patents…


“No Food Shall Be Grown That We Don’t Own!”
“The White Man’s Dream For Africa”
Are We Safe With GM Foods?
Green & Poor Washing Africa With A Failed Technology

Keynote by President Barack Obama at The Chicago Council’s Symposium


Objectives Of The Campaign

* The Principle of the Multifunctionality of Agriculture
* The Benefits of Agroecological Agriculture
* Food Sovereignty, Economic Development and Social Progress


Round Table Discussions, Contribution From Comrade Nii Ayee:

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