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.