GENERAL STATEMENT

National Biosafety Authority is one of the government
agencies under MESTI

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FUNCTIONS

To receive, process, respond to and making decisions on applications under...

OUR VISION

A global model of excellence in Biosafety

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

To establish a biosafety system that ensures safe use, handling and transport...

OUR MISSION

To ensure the safe development, transfer, handling and use of Genetically...

Ghana became a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety after ratifying it in May 2004 with the aim of ensuring the safe use, transfer and handling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the country. This objective draws its strength from the 1992 constitution which identifies science and technology as one of the modes to be employed to drive the socio-economic development of Ghana.

 

Based upon this, a comprehensive biosafety framework was developed which proposed the Biosafety Bill which was eventually passed into law in December, 2011. The Biosafety Act, 2011 (Act 831) established the National Biosafety Authority (NBA).

To ensure an integrated approach to the regulation of modern biotechnology and its products, the Act enjoins the Authority to operate in conjunction with other regulatory agencies. These are:

  • The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)
  • The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA)
  • The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The Veterinary Division, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division (PPRSD)
  • The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. In addition.

The Authority is also represented by certified Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) in research and academic institutions conducting research on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ghana.

 

The Act has also established a Technical Advisory Committee to support the Authority to conduct risk assessment and management of GMOs and also to provide scientific advice to the Authority on issues under the Act.

Furthermore, the Authority is again supported by an Appeals Tribunal which deals with concerns of aggrieved persons on issues regarding applications and other matters under the Act.

 

The Act focuses on ensuring protection from Genetically Modified Organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effect on health and the environment. The Act again allows a variety of permissions that enable people to handle or work with Genetically Modified Organism. These include:

 

  • Contained use
  • Confined field trials
  • Environmental releases
  • Commercial releases and transit.

 

Accordingly, the NBA makes decisions based on scientific evidence, whether or not to allow the use of GMOs in any of the fields stated above and the terms and conditions that should accompany the permits to ensure compliance and safe use of GMOs.

 

Efficiency, transparency and participation are the bedrocks of the GMO regulatory system in Ghana. Therefore, in accordance with the Act, the Authority gazettes decisions made on contained use and confined field trial applications and also notifies the public through the gazette and print and electronic media regarding receipt of applications on environmental and commercial releases of GMOs. These principles enable the Authority to consult widely before making decisions on environmental and commercial releases and also to publish the details of the decisions, allow public access to documents and keep public records on approved GMOs.

 

To ensure accountability, the performance of the Authority is reported through the sector Minister to Parliament through quarterly and annual reports. The Authority also contributes to the environmental protection and management programme of the sector Ministry’s budget statement and its performance and financial statements are part of the Ministry’s annual report.