President William Ruto chaired a second Cabinet meeting yesterday, considering that the cabinet nominees are yet to be vetted, and discussed some of the important matters affecting Kenyans. In the meeting, the President lifted the 10-year ban of planting and importation of Genetically Modified crops. The decision of the cabinet was meant to address the issue of food security in the country following the drought attack and also pest’s invasion. Well, the food scientists in the country have welcomed the move and said that the President has considered them.
“This is a sign, that the President is going to use the evidence generated by the scientists and he also believes in his own science, him being a scientist, and he is showing us that he wants to believe in institutions…” Dr. Margaret Karembu, Director Isaa Africanter commented.
The government sourced recommendations of the taskforce put in place to inspect or rather survey the matters relating to food security and the Genetically Modified crops. The legalizing of the GMO crops intended to act as a response towards the drought that is ongoing and to improve agriculture in the country because the crops modified have the characteristics of being resistant to diseases and pests.
“Scientists globally including academies of science, health, engineering, agriculture have thoroughly assessed the safety of foods developed from bio-technology and they have all come to one verdict that GM crops and GM foods are as safe as traditional food and they don’t pose any concern or any safety issue.” Dr. Margaret added.
The food scientists also said that the modified crops grow faster and production rate is fast as compared to the normal crops.
“You are able to grow food faster, the improved seed grows faster and if you reduce even by 10 days, the harvesting of your crop and in times we have seen even upto 2 months, you can reduce the time at which the crop will stay in the field and you access the food in much less time.” Dr. Margaret concluded.
The government considered the reports from experts and technical reports about adoption of bio- technology. They included reports of the Kenya National Bio-safety Authority, European Food Safety Authority, USA Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and The Food and Agriculture Organization.
By Calvin Angatia