Kenyan scientists challenge government officials to lift GMO field trials moratorium

Workers harvesting the GM maize at the field trial in Kiboko

Scientists and students have been piling pressure on the government to lift the ban on GMOs that has been in place since 2012.

The proscription, they said, is unnecessary because Kenya has adequate institutions led by the National Biosafety Authority, mandated to ensure the GMO products are safe.

The National Environment Management Authority’s (Nema) has been criticised for declining to issue a permit for GMO field trials to the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) in partnership with African Agricultural Technology Foundation.

“We demand that Nema stop operating at the whims of the Ministry of Health and issue the required permit for GMO field trials particularly for GM maize,” Moi University student leader Towett Ng’etich said.

The Cabinet Secretary, in a letter to Nema opposing the planned GM maize field trials, had maintained that the GMO in Kenya remains bound by the cabinet decision that banned the biotech foods.

The Kenya University Biotechnology Consortium (Kubico) secretary-general, Dr. Joel Ochieng, claimed Nema was out to derail the local research.

Dr. Ochieng said a study that linked GMO crops to cancer, which Kenya relied on to announce the ban has since been retracted following concerns that it didn’t adhere to standard procedures.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: GMOs are key to ending perennial drought, say MPs

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