Biotech story

So a school teacher friend of mine asked me to help her mark her social studies scripts of her high school students. There was a question on the difference between science and technology.

The high school definition of this is that science is a body of knowledge acquired through systematic inquiry and considerable mental efforts.

On the other hand technology is the application of this scientific knowledge to satisfy the human need.

These two definitions set my mind on the workshop I had just come out of a few hours earlier where journalists have been trained on how to report on biotech and biosafety systems with regards to the production of genetically modified food and organisms.

There has been a furore about accepting genetically modified foods in Ghana and as such it has become imperative for the stakeholding organisations and scientists involved to educate the public about the merits and demerits of genetically modified food.

Science and technology need to come together to promote the mainstay of African economies which is agriculture. Various research is ongoing in various parts of Africa over different crops both foods and especially cereals.

At the workshop, material was provided and documents produced to show that currently there were no genetically modified foods on the Ghanaian market and rather the Bill in Parliament is to ensure that farmers rather benefit from genetically modification of crops.

Scientists study the high yield genes and introduce or remove it from the crop to improve the yield at less cost and less harmless for human consumption because of less chemical treatment on the crops. Genetics is used as an enhancement tool and it’s controlled so there’s no chance of the genes spilling into other plants even the soil.

It’s high time we all stopped burying our heads in the sand and critically examine the collaboration between science and technology. Let’s not just condemn biotechnology until we have all the facts.

Africans are gullible and until we put our gullibility aside and start making “informed decisions” I believe our continent will not get out of the doldrums of the poverty, strife and backwardness we’re plagued with.

Like I always say it’s not necessarily a collective thing but then it begins with YOU!

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