Biotech Updates

Kenya's NBA Receives Public Comments as it Examines Bt Maize Environmental Release Application

September 9, 2015

Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has formally received comments from the public as it embarks on analyzing feedback for consideration of the application for environmental release (open cultivation), of genetically modified insect protected maize in Kenya, which was made by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project.

NBA Chief Executive Officer CEO Dr. Willy Tonui during a public hearing forum said the exercise was important and in line with Kenya's Biosafety Law which requires public participation by way of comments in the review of such an application. He assured the public that NBA would follow the law and give its verdict in good time as the law requires.

The forum, which had been organized by the Authority to inform the public about the process of releasing a genetically modified crop for national performance trials, was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders including consumers, scientists, farmers, and media. The forum served to clarify issues about GM crops that hitherto were not clear or had been guided by misinformation by some members of the public.

The public comments had been received by the authority for a month after issuance of a notice to the public, inviting them to participate in the decision making process on the application.

The approval process for environmental release takes 90-150 days from the date of the acknowledgement of the application. A decision is thus expected in October 2015, followed by national performance trials by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).

For more information, contact the National Biosafety Authority at