As the world marked world food day yesterday with the theme of ‘safe food today for a healthy tomorrow,’ thousands of Kenyans continue to face the wrath of a ravaging drought in different parts of the country. There is food shortage crisis in the arid and semi-arid areas of the country.
This special day comes as the debate on the safety of GMOs remains unsettled. The GMO ban was lifted with the aim of boosting food security and increasing food production in the country where different people reacted differently to that giving their own opinions.
The concerns on GMO products are;
Safety of GMOs
Socio economic effects on food and crops
Public deception and misinformation
Lack of capacity for regulating GMOs
The GMO food safety has been questioned by many since it hasn’t been fully proven whether the GMO food is safe for human consumption. The story of public participation also was said to be ignored by the government. The point of public deception and misinformation was witnessed whereby some people raised concerns over the government telling the public the advantages of the GMO products where some of them were lies.
The Kenya University Bio-technology and Bio-safety consultant experts say that the GMO is just
a complementary technology to enhance food security and food safety in the country. This was
said to settle the point that the GMO is a total solution of food security.
“We as experts would want to clarify that GMO technology is not the only option available in
sorting out the food security situation. It is a complimentary technology to all the others that
exist. We have heard other traditional methods but we note that there is persistent hunger in the
country and therefore we would want that technology to compliment the other ones
They also addressed the claims of the GMO safety to health. They assured Kenyans that there are regulations by labelling whereby someone has a choice of selecting to use normal or GMO product. The choice of consumption will commence when the use of the technology kicks off.
The Government also has further sought to addressed the issue by incorporating food security in
the vision 2030 blueprint. This is via its medium-term plan.
“Kenya Kwanza is emphasizing more on food security and one way of ensuring that or addressing food insecurity is actually not relying on rainfall for agriculture but depending more on irrigation.
Kenyans have also been advised to use traditional foods more than the GMO foods. This is for a better healthy life. The traditional foods tend to be more safer than the modified one because the traditional ones do not contain more chemicals.
The NGO Councils of Kenya is calling for more scientific research on the GMO products to be sure about the safety of it. The enough research is to know the exact status of consuming Genetically Modified foods and see whether the Government will consider.
By Calvin Angatia