The move by president William Ruto’s government to lift the ban on genetically modified food GMOs has continued to cause mixed reaction among Kenyans. The move was arrived as the government responds to the drought raveging the country. However, the wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has come out to condemn the move Kalonzo is urging president William Ruto to think about this matter, saying that GMO food will reduce food shortage in the country but after that citizens will experience adverse health effect.
Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is the latest leader to urge the President to rethink his stand on the matter saying GMO foods will reduce food shortage in the country but in the long run, citizens will experience adverse health effects.
“When the President was Minister for Agriculture, he was vehemently opposed to GMOs as I am… I’m calling on William to reconsider (lifting of the ban) for the sake of this country,” Kalonzo said.
October 3, Ruto lifted the ban on genetically modified crops that was imposed in 2012.
He said it followed recommendations of the Task Force formed to Review Matters Relating to Genetically Modified Foods and Food Safety.
But speaking to the press on Tuesday, Kalonzo stated that GMO food will cause issues when it comes to exporting our agricultural produce to neighboring countries since most do not advocate for production of GMO foods.
“Even if our farmers adopt the BT-maize seed, this will not bring down the cost of maize since the price is artificially manipulated,” he added.Kalonzo further noted that food security should not be premised on maize consumption alone.
While condemning the decision to lift the ban, Kalonzo called out the Church and urged it to speak against the introduction of GMO foods in Kenya.
“We are surprised by the silence of the Church which was once against GMOs. Could it be that they are pacified by the new administration… we urge our religious leaders not to sell their souls but to speak the truth to power,” he said.
The lifting of the ban imposed in 2012 will now allow farmers to plant genetically engineered crops and animal feeds.This is expected to increase food and animal feed production in the country.
However, genetically modified crops have generally raised concerns about potentially harmful effects on smallholder farms, existing crops, the environment and people’s long-term health.
By Faith Njerwe