Food Sovereignty forum degenerates into brawl

A forum on food sovereignty in Ghana on Tuesday degenerated into a brawl between Dr Margaret Ottah Attipoe of Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and organisers.

The forum, which was organised by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa in collaboration with Food Sovereignty Ghana, on the theme: “Food Sovereignty and farmers’ rights”, sought to educate Ghanaians on the need to prevent the promotion of genetically modified (GM) foods, and to encourage organic farming.

It was addressed by Dr Vandana Shiva, Founder of the Research Foundation for Science and Ecology, one of the world’s foremost environmentalist and anti-genetically modified foods (GMOs) activist.

After Dr Shiva’s delivery, Mr Yaw Opoku, a private legal practitioner and a member of FSG in a remark said the organisation is made up of volunteers who had the interest of the nation at heart.

He accused Dr Ottah Attipoe of spreading false information about the organisation and also branding them as agents receiving funding from certain agencies outside the country to prevent the promotion of GM foods.

Dr Attipoe, a proponent of GM foods, who happened to be at the forum on her own volition, did not take kindly to the remarks and in a very sharp rebuttal explained that the debate should not be turned into personal attacks, but rather must deal with the issues.

She said Dr Shiva, was only a philosopher prompting Dr Shiva to point out to her that that she would not allow Dr Attipoe to distort her credentials.

Dr Shiva asked to be given the chance to give her profile.

As the exchanges degenerated, Dr Shiva advised Dr Attipoe not to hijack the forum since she was an uninvited guest.

Dr Attipoe then took her hand bag and begun to walk away, but she was confronted by an elderly woman, who described her as a nation wrecker.

It was a very ugly scene in the full glare of the media, but calm returned following her exit.

Dr Vandana Shiva holds a Master’s Degree and a PhD in Quantum Physics and another Master’s Degree in Philosophy. GNA

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