Gov’t To Allow Free Importation Of GMO Maize

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Trade and Industrialization Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria PHOTO/Courtesy

The government will allow free importation of Genetically Modified (GMO) maize, Trade, Investment, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has announced.

In a statement on Thursday, November 17, the CS said the free importation will run for the next six months, adding that the move is aimed at mitigating the food crisis in the country.

The directive will also apply to imported non-GMO maize.

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“In view of the food situation in the country, I shall be signing instruments to allow duty free imports of GMO and non GMO Maize for the next 6 months,” CS Kuria said.

This comes just a month after the government lifted the ban on the importation and planting of genetically modified crops and animal feeds after a 10-year suspension.

The ban had been in effect since 2012.

The ban was lifted following a meeting between the Cabinet and President William Ruto which sought to assess progress in the national response to the ongoing drought situation.

The Cabinet considered a wide range of proposals relating to climate change adaptation, reducing Kenya’s reliance on rain-fed agriculture through increased irrigation, and the planting of diverse and drought-resistant crops.

The decision was reached in accordance with the recommendation of the Task Force to Review Matters Relating to Genetically Modified Foods and Food Safety, and in fidelity with the guidelines of the National Biosafety Authority on all applicable international treaties including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB).

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“Cabinet vacated its earlier decision of 8th November, 2012 prohibiting the open cultivation of genetically modified crops and the importation of food crops and animal feeds produced through biotechnology innovations; effectively lifting the ban on Genetically Modified Crops

“By dint of the executive action open cultivation and importation of White (GMO) Maize is now authorized,” reads the statement from the cabinets office.

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