Ghana Biosafety Bill Passed into Law

The Ghana Biosafety Bill was unanimously passed into law by the Parliament on June 21, 2011, two weeks after Nigeria, another West African country, passed its own biosafety bill into law on June 1. The bill was passed during the third reading of the Bill that now awaits Presidential assent, after which, the regulations for its full implementation will be developed.

The Bill was first submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Science (MES) for submission to the Cabinet in 2004. However, successive changes in Ministers and dissolution of the MES in 2006 led to a delay in its processing. The Bill was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology with the installation of the new government in 2009 and resubmitted to the Parliament by the Cabinet in 2011.

News of passage of the Bill was greeted with excitement by members of the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and a cross section of stakeholders. Ajayi Boroffice, a member of the newly inaugurated seventh senate, said that the bill would have a positive impact on the economy.

Ghana's NBC is currently processing application for Bt cowpea confined field trials. Application for field trials of nutrient enhanced sweet potato is expected to be submitted soon.

For more information on the passage of the Biosafety Bill and biotechnology developments in Ghana please contact the Secretary of the NBC, Mr. Eric Okorie at eriokor@yahoo.com or Prof. Walter S. Alhassan at the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) at walhassan@fara-africa.org.


 

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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