GMO food now legal in Kenya after government lifts ban
President William Ruto has lifted the ban on genetically modified crops after chairing a cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi.
The meeting was convened to consider the progress made in the national response to the ongoing drought situation that has affected 23 counties.
As per a statement from State House, the cabinet considered a broad array of proposals touching on climate change adaptation, reducing Kenya’s reliance on rain-fed agriculture by increasing irrigation, planting diverse and drought-resistant crops, and implementing of early warning and response mechanisms.
Part of the short-term solution to the ongoing drought that has ravaged millions of Kenyans is lifting the ban on GMO food in the country, hence allowing cultivation, and importation of White (GMO) Maize is now authorized.
“Cabinet vacated its earlier decision of 8th November 2012 prohibiting the open cultivation of genetically modified crops and the importation of food crops and animal feeds produced through biotechnology innovations; effectively lifting the ban on Genetically Modified Crops. By dint of the executive action, open cultivation and importation of White (GMO) Maize is now authorized.”
It also considered various expert and technical reports on the adoption of biotechnology; including reports from Kenya’s National Biosafety Authority (NBA), World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United States of America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
This was in accordance with the recommendation of the Task Force to Review Matters Relating to Genetically Modified Foods and Food Safety, and in fidelity with the guidelines of the National Biosafety Authority on all applicable international treaties including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB).
The cabinet also considered a broad array of proposals touching on climate change adaptation, reducing Kenya’s reliance on rain-fed agriculture by increasing irrigation, and planting diverse and drought-resistant crops.