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Minister assures safety of GMO Products

20 February 2012, 12:43 Anthony Muriuki Muthuri

Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi Mathenge has assured Kenyans that all food imported into the country for relief purposes must meet all safety check requirements to ensure it is safe for human consumption.

Speaking at a Meru hotel on Sunday when she opened a two days' workshop on Biotech Outreach and awareness, Murugi said the country was facing a serious food deficit following poor harvests last season saying 4.3 million Kenyans are in need of food relief support.

She said frost in parts of Nyandarua District which is a major food basket and poor rains experienced in Eastern and North Eastern Provinces had compounded the problem saying currently her Ministry is purchasing 2.4 million of bags of maize from South Rift  to restock strategic food reserves which have dwindled from the required 4 million bags.

The Minister said there was need for food experts to sensitize the Public, Political leaders and the Media on the safety of G.M.O. Genetic modified crops saying they should not be dismissed as hazardous to human life if they meet safety requirements and are safe for human consumption saying many countries  of the world have adopted them.

She said when proved to be safe for consumption, G.M.O. crops can play a major role in alleviating hunger and saving lives of millions of people who may die if there is no help for relief coming in good time.

She said in the recent past a section of Kenyans has expressed concern regarding the safety of genetically modified foods to human health and the environment saying the concerns were sustained by inadequate and lack of scientific information or misinformation regarding the ongoing work in biotechnology, the capacity of the country to deal with the GMO products and available legal, technical and environmental mechanisms to assure the safety of the public and environment.

Disclaimer: News24Kenya encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24Kenya.

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Minister Murugi said through the adoption of new agricultural practices adopting G.M. technology, it will be possible to mitigate climate change by developing crops for climatic adaption, which will lead to reduced loses and improve productivity in the agricultural sector in line with the vision 2030 development flagships.


The two days workshop was attended by Agriculture Extension staff, teachers and students, Consumer Networks Research Scientists, bio-safety  regulators from KEPHIS, KEBS, and NBA, from Eastern and Central Provinces.

It was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development USAID,in conjunction with the University of Nairobi.



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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