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GMOs will be the bane of Kenya, says John Mututho

By Antony Gitonga | Aug 28th 2015 | 2 min read

The debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) products continued to elicit mixed reactions with former chairman of the parliamentary committee on agriculture John Mututho entering the fray.

Kenya faces doom if it embraces GMOs, National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) Chairman John Mututho has warned.

The former chairman of the parliamentary committee on Agriculture said Thursday in Naivasha that research has already proven that the technology is harmful.

His warning comes in the wake of an announcement by Deputy President William Ruto that the Government will lift the ban on GMOs in a couple of months.

It also comes hot on the heels of the discovery of a "pest-resistant maize variety" by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF). The maize, according to AATF, is also drought resistant.

"I was totally opposed to the GMO idea while in Parliament and I still oppose it as it has more harm than good and we should shun it," he said.

Mututho attributed the rise in cancer cases in the country to the consumption of GMOs.

"I raised an alert over the importation of GMO maize in the country back in 2010 and this is now haunting the country," he said.

He said the only way Kenya can become self-sustaining in food production is through projects such as Galana irrigation.

"I am fully behind the Galana irrigation scheme which seeks address the issue of maize shortage in the country and this is the way to go," he said.

But speaking at a different forum, Industrialisation Principal Secretary Wilson Songa blamed lack of information for the current impasse on GMO products.

He defended GMOs but said there is need for more consultative meetings and public education as "many Kenyans are getting the wrong information".

"Kenyans should learn that even the insulin they take in hospital is a genetically modified product," he said.

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