We banned GMOs because they were harmful, Kibaki minister says

A public health minister during president Mwai Kibaki’s regime has revealed why the government banned Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods in Kenya.

 “I was the minister then and the issue was brought to the Cabinet since around that time there was an outcry about GMO by the United Nations,” Ms Mugo said.

She said a team of scientists from Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and others from universities were commissioned to carry out a research after Cabinet discussed the safety of GMOs.

“After carrying out their study, they came up with a report that showed that the GMOs were not safe and could lead to health complications, among them traces of cancer,” Ms Mugo said.

She said the findings of the scientists informed the ban on GMO foods in the country by the late President Mwai Kibaki. Ms Mugo said discussion on GMOs and the subsequent commissioning of scientists was informed by findings of a report from France doubting the safety of GMOs.

Ms Mugo said other reports also returned worrying results on the use of GMOs, and cautioned against its legalisation in Kenya.

“I suggest before they (government) allow importation of GMOs, to carry out another study and find out if things have changed. There is no need to feed people today and kill them in future with deadly diseases,” she said.

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