Kenya will push for 10-year moratorium on foods produced with synthetic biology

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Vanillin made through synthetic biology. Image: iStockphoto

Kenya will press for a moratorium on introduction of laboratory generated foodstuffs produced through synthetic biology when the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity kicks-off … in Egypt.

Production of foodstuffs through chemical combination in laboratories is vastly gaining ground in the developed world threatening to disrupt the traditional agriculture production systems.

Speaking at the Kenya School of Government (KSG), Kikuyu during a forum organized by Ambero Consulting, Deputy Director Multilateral Environment Agreements Mr Parkinson Ndonye said the issue of synthetic biology is now a great concern for developing countries like Kenya that are dependent on agriculture ….

According to Mr. Ndonye, Kenya will hence be seeking to lobby African countries during the African Ministerial conference to be held before the Conference to take a common stand when the matter comes up during the deliberations.

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“.… We cannot fight technology but what we want is a reasonable period to prepare and discuss on issues of benefit sharing. Crops like maize will be produced through laboratories by use of chemical composition. Who will own the rights? When this happens it will have implications (price) as this maize will be cheaper,” said Mr Ndonye.

He did not say the moratorium period needed, but other sources said a period of ten to fifteen years would suffice.

Read full, original article: Kenya to push for delayed entry of synthetic foods into African market

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