BUSINESS and FINANCE

Kenya Approves the Cultivation of GMO Maize

The Kenya national biosafety authority has approved the cultivation of genetically modified maize on trials in the national field.

The national biosafety authority a body that governs the use and the supply of genetically modified organisms in Kenya has finally accepted the cultivation of genetically modified maize on trial. Statement issued by people who are pro-GMO indicates that the demand for food in the country can be quenched by accepting the use of genetically modified organisms in the country. The CEO of the authority issued a statement indicating that the approval was only for maize on trial in the national fields and at no chance has GMO products been accepted in the country.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and other partners Africa agricultural technology foundation have been allowed to release environmentally safe GMO and to collect composition analysis data before any further step is undertaken. NBA has declined that they cannot allow any private partner to carry out the same because there is fear of commercial exploitation and the trials must be for research purposes only. Dr. Tonui indicated that prior to the establishment of the two agencies activities on nationwide farms the agencies must perform environmental assessment to ensure that the GMOs do not affect the environment and ecosystem. The two reports should then be forwarded to national environment management authority for verification before the launch of the project.

The national biosafety authority indicated that they are closely monitoring the research and the findings will be made public once out. In addition, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services in partnership with other relevant government bodies are on the mission to assess the type of the GMOs and their impact on the environment. Upon receiving the data from the fields, the studies will then proceed in different fields in the country under strict regulations from the agencies. Precautionary measures will be taken to ensure that the varieties are safe for human consumption and that they would not affect the ecosystem and its diversity.

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