ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga has come out to give reasons why he has withdrawn the support he had for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) when he was Prime Minister.
Raila now says that at the time he backed the importation of GMO crops into Kenya in the National Assembly in 2011 while serving as Premier he had very limited information.
He noted that in the last 10 years scientists had intensified scrutiny on genetically modified foods and new information, most being negative toward GMOs, infirmed his current stance.
“As science has evolved over the last decade, so has Mr Odinga’s thinking on GMOs,” said Raila in a statement sent to newsrooms by Raila’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango.
The Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate in the last general election played down claims that his opposition to GMO importation by the William Ruto administration was subterfuge.
Raila argued that his current position on GMOs was the result of learning over the last decade.
“Mr. Odinga’s current position on GMOs is therefore not a case of double speak but a result of willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn, the essence of literacy in the 21st century,” read the statement.
However, he expressed his willingness to back GMOs if the President Ruto administration provides scientific evidence to convince him on the safety of genetically modified crops.
“Mr. Odinga will stand ready to embrace that new information,” adds the statement.
He reiterated his opposition to the introduction of GMO crops approved by the cabinet in October saying it violates rights of Kenyans and only please foreign commercial interests.
Raila recently swore to launch serious campaigns against GMOs in the courts as well as in farms across Kenya challenging the lifting of the ban put in place by President Mwai Kibaki.
He questioned the decision by Kenya saying GMos remained illegal in countries like France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Greece and Hungary, which are advanced scientifically.
“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?" posed Raila.