Dr Vandana Shiva, Founder of the Research Foundation for Science and Ecology, on Tuesday called for a free from chemicals global food revolution to ensure sustainable agriculture and food security.
She said the introduction of chemicals into agriculture over the last 100 years had contributed to the creation of new resistant breeds of pests and serious health implications for mankind.
Dr Shiva, who is one of the world’s foremost environmentalist and anti-genetically modified foods (GMOs) activist, made the call in Accra during a forum organised by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) in collaboration with Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG), on the theme: “Food Sovereignty and farmers’ rights.”
She said 75 per cent of biodiversity had been pushed into extinction due to chemical pollution worldwide; and warned that if care is not taken there would be no bees to pollinate crops in the near future.
She said the growth of dead zones in water bodies was as a result of the use of nitrogen fertilisers on farms, which eventually find its way into water bodies and contaminating them.
She appealed to governments to promote organic farming and to oppose the concept of GMOs.
Dr Shiva, an advocate of ecological farming and sustainable agriculture as a solution to climate change, food security, hunger and peace, warned that climate change problems are another source of threat to food security.
She said malnutrition is a threat to humanity and could be addressed through the cultivation of natural seeds, adding that 90 per cent of GMO corn is used in the production of bio-fuel and in feeding animals.
She stated that in her native country of India, GMO had been banned, with the exception of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, which has over the years started facing challenges of new pest attacks.
Dr Shiva, therefore, urged the Government to re-examine the Plants Breeders Bill, which is before Parliament before passing it into law.
She said the passage of the bill into law should not create a situation whereby a group of people would have monopoly over seeds, adding that such a law must have the farmers of the country as its focal point.
Mr Yaw Opoku, a private legal practitioner and a member of FSG, said the organisation is made of volunteers with the interest of the nation at heart.
He said it was untrue that the organisation is being funded by agencies outside the country to prevent the promotion of GM foods, as is being speculated in the media.
Dr Million Belay, AFSA Co-ordinator, said the Alliance is creating awareness among Africans of the serious implications of GMOs and chemicals on the health of the people. GNA