Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has heavily criticized President William Ruto for lifting the ban on genetically modified foods (GMOs) and animal feeds. In his speech during the Azimo coalition’s press briefing on Tuesday, October 11, Kalonzo argued that allowing the importation and consumption of GMOs pose a great danger to human health. “Science has shown grey areas as far as the safety of consumption of GMOs is concerned. The dependence of GMOs on toxic herbicides is a threat to human health and the environment,” He said.
The former vice president wondered why the head of state had changed his mind on the GMOs, which he used to oppose during his reign as the agriculture minister. “When the president was minister for Agriculture, he vehemently opposed GMOs as I am. I therefore call on William to reconsider lifting of the ban for the sake of this country,” Kalonzo said.
He further asked the religious leaders to speak out in the matter rather than keeping quiet when the new administration engages in programs that endanger Kenyans’ lives. The former vice president suggested that the church leader could have been compromised by the new administration in order to keep quiet. “We are surprised by the silence of the church which was once against GMOs. Could it be that they are pacified by the new administration… we urge our religious leaders not to sell their souls but to speak the truth to power.” Urged Kalonzo.
The decision by the government to lift the ban on GMOs elicited varied reactions, with their safety for human consumption topping the list of concerns raised by those who expressed reservations about the move, about 10 years after the government lifted the ban on the growing and importing of genetically modified food, and animal feeds in Kenya.