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MPs back Ruto’s campaign to lift ban on GMO foods

27 August 2015, 09:11 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – A section of MPs across the political divide have supported the Deputy President William Ruto’s campaign for production and consumption of Genetically Modified (GMO) foods in the country.

Four legislators led by the National Assembly’s Health committee vice chairman, Robert Pukose asked the government to promptly lift the 2012 ban on GMO products to help address unemployment and food insecurity challenges.

Pukose accused former Health minister, Anyang’ Nyong’o and other officials of pushing the coalition government to effect the GMO ban on baseless unscientific belief that the consumption had health effects such as cancer to users yet the products are approved for use by the European Union (EU).

“The European Food Safety Authority has ascertained the safety of GMO crops and products approved in the EU for food, feed and environmental release thus safety is not an issue in decision-making. EU has approved at least 58 GMO crops for food and feed including maize, soya, oil-seed, sugar-beet and BT cotton,” said Pukose.

Read Also: COFEK tells Kenyans to oppose lifting ban on GMOs

He revealed their tour to various institutions such as Kenyatta University, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Biosciences of Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) offering biotechnology skills enabled them to realize that Kenya has requisite capacity to develop and regulate GMO crops.

“Our scientists are working on every important food security crops and we support the Deputy President to have them supported for production of GMO foods. EU imports large volumes of GMO produce from lead biotech growing countries including USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil hence Kenyan farmers should not be worried about loss of exports to EU,” said Pukose.

The three legislators who accompanied Pukose at a press conference at Parliament Buildings included Florence Mutua (Busia County MP), Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja).  

Mutua said lifting the GMO ban will enable Busia County to produce and export more BT cotton after its production declined significantly for failure to embrace biotechnology to increase production.

“We don’t understand why we can still sit on a ban than increase food production and create employment for our people. Busia was producing a lot of cotton for exportation and I support lift of GMO ban for more BT cotton production,” said Mutua.

Wandayi said herbicide tolerant crops raised through biotechnology help farmers overcome losses caused by weed.          

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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