Opposition leader Raila Odinga has once again faulted the Kenyan government for lifting the ban on genetically modified foods and plans to import 10 million bags of GMO maize.
The former prime minister accused President William Ruto of being a puppet and working for foreign nations and their multinationals against Kenya’s interest.
“We consider the decision to lift the ban on GMO foods and their importation a betrayal to our country. On this, the Ruto administration is not working for Kenya,” said Raila.
According to the ODM leader, it is “an established fact that once GMOs are introduced, it is virtually impossible to stop their transfer to where natural crops are grown because of wind and insect pollination.”
In a press statement released at his Capitol Hill office, Raila added: “Ruto is not working to promote Kenyan research work in Kenyan universities, colleges and institutions. He is working to promote foreign biotechnology institutions abroad.
“In other words, GMOs can completely wipe out native and natural crops leaving Kenyans dependent on seeds and foods produced by GMO multinationals.”
The Azimio Coalition leader said the government should reverse its decision on importation of GMO foods until Kenyans have a conclusive debate on the matter.
Raila said there is no scientific study thus far that has unequivocally cleared GMOs as fit for human consumption and the environment.
He said the only studies that have come close to giving GMOs a clean bill of health are generally those sponsored by biotechnology companies themselves or their associates.
“We challenge the government to share with Kenyans the scientific study it is relying on to declare GMO maize as fit for our consumption and our environment. GMOs can cause harm to human and animal life and to the entire national ecosystems. They can dramatically reduce or eliminate plant diversity,” said Raila.
The opposition leader said after hurriedly lifting the ban on GMO foods, the Ruto administration has now authorised the duty-free importation of 10 million bags of genetically modified maize for at least six months.
“We in Azimio la Umoja want to state categorically that this decision – which has been made without deliberation or public participation – will have far-reaching and catastrophic implications for Kenya’s agriculture, the health of the Kenyan people and our environment,” said Raila.
“GMOs are a new form of colonialism that will leave us permanently at the mercy of malign foreign nations and greedy corporations. Simply put, GMOs are an existential threat to Kenya’s food systems, ecosystems, and its human and plant life,” he added.
Raila at at the same time faulted Trade CS Moses Kuria for his recent remarks about GMO foods being another death trap.
“We note with alarm the callousness with which the UDA regime in the person of Trade CS Moses Kuria announced the pending importation of GMO maize. With utter contempt for the Kenyan people, Kuria publicly said that since there are a thousand ways for Kenyans to die, the safety of GMO foods should not worry us because we are dying anyway,” said the ODM leader.