Ghana yesterday (December 8, 2016) issued guidelines for general release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The nation’s National Biosafety Authority (NBA) issued the guidelines, in lieu of implementing regulations. A letter signed by the authority’s chief executive, Mr. Eric Okore, stated that NBA issued the guidelines on handling requests for use of GMOs while waiting for the implementing regulations to Act 831 to be passed. It also confirmed that the authority was working towards getting the implementing regulations passed by Parliament.

“The NBA is further putting in place measures to build the capacity needed to assess and make decisions on applications regarding general release of GMOs. We therefore wish to cease the opportunity to invite all partners to support the Authority to put in place this needed capacity” said Mr. Okore through the letter.

Ghana has put in place measures to regulate biotechnology. The NBA was established through Act 831 and ensures adherence to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety through implementation of national biosafety guidelines and other regulations. The authority is managed by a Board of Directors comprising of thirteen members. The Board recently approved an appeals tribunal to address public concerns on GMOs before they are taken to the high court.