Azimio La Umoja coalition party leader Raila Odinga has vowed to continue fighting the application of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to tackle Kenya's ravaging drought.
According to Raila, GMOs are not a panacea for the ongoing food shortage and drought Kenya is facing and he is now vowing to fight GMO use in court and in farms across Kenya.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ODM party leader questioned the rush by the President William Ruto government to reverse the 2012 ban on GMO and its products.
“We demand that Ruto's administration explains to Kenyans the rationale behind the rush to reverse the 2012 the directive that stopped the importation and open cultivation of GMO's due to concerns of the health risks of GMO foods and insufficient studies on their effects on small-scale farmers and the local food markets," Raila’s statement reads in part.
He argued that the lifting of the ban on GMOs by the Ruto administration violates national interests and the rights of Kenyans and only meant to satisfy foreign commercial interests.
Raila wondered why Kenya lifted the ban on genetically modified foods noting that GMOs remained illegal in many developed countries that are more advanced scientifically.
He added: “They are banned in many scientifically advanced economies like France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Malta, Slovenia, Italy, and Croatia. Why Kenya?"
He added that lifting the ban on GMOs at a time the world is facing uncertain times economically and socially was tantamount to using Kenyan people as guinea pigs.
“We believe that introducing them into Kenya in the current state of international uncertainty is to use Kenyans as guinea pigs, which we shall not allow. Even the poor and the hungry ought to have their rights and dignity protected,” opined Raila.
He asked Kenyans to reject the reintroduction of GMOs
“We will fight GMOs in court and on farms across the country. We are aware there already are court cases on the re-introduction of GMOs awaiting hearings.
“As we await the court verdict, we strongly urge Kenyans to reject this attempt by the Ruto administration to compromise our health. economy and environment at the altar of commerce.”
Raila, who is on a trip to India, challenged Dr Ruto to unveil his clear plans to enhance agricultural production and ease the burden on millions of Kenyans ravaged by drought and famine.