Consumer organizations reject GMO calls for govt to pump more money in research

By Obegi Malack                                                   

Food Safety Consumer Organizations have rejected a move by the government to introduce Genetically Modified (GM) crops in the country.

The organizations pointed out that there has been little research on GMOs and there need to be more research which they say will take years, the government should empower Kenya’s research institutions and scientists to do more research on the crops.

Consumer Grassroots Association Director Alice Nyaberi said there is no public participation that was done before introduction of the crops hence introduction of the GM crops is against consumer.

“Consumers have a right of choice, they should be involved since they are the ones who will consume the food, they should be taken through the issue and give their opinions,” she said.

The organizations accused the government of using unlawful ways in introducing the crops in the country, they said it will have long-term effect since it will affect the indigenous crops.

They detailed that GMOs will not be cheaply available the farmers will be required to spend a lot of money in purchasing the seeds, testing, labelling their produce something that do not apply when dealing with organic foods.

They pointed out that there is no country in the world where GMOs have been used to fight hunger.

Consumer Information Network CIN CEO Samuel Ochieng said consumers have rights that need to be protected, he said the consumers need adequate information before they make the choices.

Young Consumer Society official Denis Simba said the govt is subjecting people to diseases, it is unwilling to invest in getting more information about GMOs.

Victor Onjolo of Green peace Kenya, said the law is clear in introduction of GMOs and it has not been followed.

Organic Farmers have also rejected the introduction of the GMOs they said they will affect indigenous crops through cross pollination, they said GM Crops are planted by farmers with large farms most farmers in Kenya are small scale farmers.

Esther Kagai founder Community Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Environment (CSHEP) said the introduction of GMOs will make farming very expensive, the GMO produce will be labeled, tested and seeds must be purchased from certain companies.

The organic farmers trainer who was speaking in Kiserian during World Food Day 2022, noted that they encourage farmers to grow health foods which are natural organic food.

She recommended the increase of accessibility of water to farmers; this will contribute to growth of more food to fight hunger.

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