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Crop Biotech Update

Kenyan Parliamentarians Endorse Government Plan to Lift GMO Ban

September 9, 2015

Four Kenyan Parliamentarians namely Kareke Mbiuki (Vice-chair, Agriculture Committee), Florence Mutua (Member, Agriculture Committee), Robert Pukose (Vice–chair, Health Committee) and James Wandayi (Agriculture Committee) have voiced their support for the government's plan to lift ban on GMOs.

In a press conference organized at the parliament building on August 26, 2015, Hon. Mbiuki deplored the lack of knowledge on GMOs that has led to gross misinformation about biotechnology. He narrated his encounter with GMOs and farmers growing GM crops during a fact finding tour in the European Union, together with his colleagues. "My trip to Europe exposed me to know more about safety and use of GMOs. Europe has approved at least 58 GM crops for food and feed including GMO maize, soya, oilseed, sugar beet and cotton. According to farmers we interacted with, there has not been any harm due to GM crops over the years," said Hon. Mbiuki.

‘'We are happy that the Deputy President as a scientist has hinted of lifting the ban, which we fully support,''said Hon. Mutua and underlined the urgency of delivering GM crops for the country, such as Bt cotton and Bt maize. "Lifting the GMO ban means more jobs for the youth. Further, the textile industry could be revived if we adopt Bt cotton and other farming technologies." Hon. Wandayi noted that Kenya cannot afford to live in denial or isolation, "The country cannot be left behind when other countries like South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Sudan are embracing biotechnology. Furthermore, it's wastage of resources to allow students to study biotechnology yet the country cannot allow its application."

For more information, contact Mr. John Mugoma, parliamentary clerk in the education committee at mugomajohn@gmail.com.