Kenya: Should decisions on GMO maize field trials be made by politicians or experts?

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Health minister Cleopa Mailu’s decision to keep on hold the planned trials of genetically modified (GM) maize on the basis of a decision made four years ago shows the extent to which Kenya’s policy landscape is fraught with contradictions.

That the minister can still by fiat overrule the professional advice from agencies such as the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), the National Environment Management Authority and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis), which have the scientific skills and equipment to interrogate the suitability of the GMOs, borders on the ridiculous.

It does not help that the minister is pegging his decision on the position …[of] the Cabinet – a political outfit without capacity of making such a technical decision.

. . . .

…[W]hat is being discussed is not even the introduction of the GM crops … but just trials to determine whether the next step should be taken.

. . . .

The risk with letting serious decisions on the GMOs to be made by the Cabinet – where we have quite a number of politicians – is that … there is the probability of some members being tempted to make short-term decisions or falling prey to, or acting in concert with, vested interests.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EDITORIAL: Allow experts to handle GMO testing process

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