Kenya is withholding approval for field trials of genetically-modified corn because some officials argue that a ban on GMO imports applies to controlled growing tests as well, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Talks involving representatives from the health and environment ministries and the National Biosafety Authority reached a deadlock in meetings held to discuss applications [Feb. 2017], according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.
The National Environmental Management Authority halted the applications to test seeds from Kenya Livestock and Research Organization and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation last year in October , after the two science research bodies received the go-ahead from the National Bio-safety Authority.
The impasse is preventing Kenya from becoming the second nation in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa to allow cultivation of GM corn. Corn meal is a staple food throughout much of southern and eastern Africa.
Kenya is importing corn from Mexico and approved shipments of yellow corn from Ukraine for the first time since 2011 due to a drought that has affected the region. Corn yields in Kenya this season have halved because of the drought….
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