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Why Raila changed mind on GMO

 ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga says his support for Genetically Modified Crops (GMO) back in 2011 was based on limited information on the matter.

Odinga made the clarification after he was accused of doublespeak.

In 2011, Odinga, who was then Prime Minister, criticized those against GMOs saying they were 'conservative purveyors of alarm.'

"Conservatism will kill innovation," Raila said in 2011.

But in a statement on Sunday, November 20, Odinga accused the government of serving international interests at the expense of Kenyans.

He said that allowing GMO imports into Kenya will expose Kenyans to health hazards besides hurting local farmers with the cheap imports.

The ODM leader now says that he has changed his mindset over the last 10 years.

"More than ten years later, new information has emerged, most of it against GMOs, as scientific scrutiny on GMOs has intensified, leading to his change of mind," said Denis Onyango, Odinga's Communication Director.

"As science has evolved over the last decade, so has Mr Odinga's thinking on GMOs," he added.

Odinga maintains he will support the government on its lift on GMO if it presents convincing scientific information that supports the suitability of GMO crops for humans and the environment.

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