Azimio warn on dangers of GMO, condemn gov’t for approving it

A maize farmer./COURTESY

Azimio la Umoja coalition has vehemently condemned the government’s decision of approving genetically modified organism food in the country.

At a media briefing in Nairobi, led by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka ,the coalition condemned the government’s  move to approve GMO, saying that it is detrimental to people’s health being a causative agent of cancer, tumor and kidney diseases.

He urged President William Ruto to reconsider the cabinet’s decision of lifting the ban on GMO, terming such move as putting commercial interest first than food security.

“GMO doesn’t threaten only small scale farmers but it also threatens the health of every Kenyan as well as the environment,”Kalonzo said.

President William Ruto lifted the ban on genetically modified crops that was imposed by then government in 2012.

In a Cabinet memo dated October 3rd 2022, President Ruto said the ban had been lifted in accordance with the recommendation of the Task Force formed to review not only matters relating to Genetically Modified Foods but also food safety.

“In fidelity with the guidelines of the National Bio-safety Authority on all applicable international treaties including the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety (CPB), Cabinet vacated its earlier decision of November 8,” read part of the memo.

“2012 prohibiting the open cultivation of genetically modified crops and the importation of food crops and animal feeds produced through biotechnology innovations. The Cabinet has effectively lifted the ban on Genetically Modified Crops,” added the memo.

The memo indicated that through executive action, open cultivation and importation of white (GMO) maize is now authorized in the country.

On his part, Kalonzo warned that lifting the ban will weaken small scale farming and companies which produce seedlings in the country and ultimately diminish them.

He pointed that whenever multinational companies are allowed to supply GMO seedlings they will diminish and contaminate organic food.

“Ban will affect trade within East African region following the fact that GMO is banned in the region,” said Kalonzo.

He urged the national bio-safety authority to move with speed to regulate GMO in the country and be neutral on the matter.

The Wiper leader urged the government to employ other mechanisms of ramping up food in the country like revamping of irrigation schemes.

Consequently, Musyoka turned the heat to religious leaders in the country for keeping quiet as the government approves GMO, yet they were strongly against the matter in the past.