NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – The Government seeks allow the importation of duty-free GMO and non-GMO maize to address biting food shortage.
Investments, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said on his Twitter handle that the government will sign documents to permit the importation in the next six-months.
This comes after the government earlier in October repealed the country’s 2012-era prohibition on the importation and growing of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops and animal feeds
The action is intended to lessen the national food scarcity in light of the country’s present drought condition.
“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,” Kuria tweeted.
The government had lifted the ban on Genetically Modified Crops following a Cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto at the State House.
Consequently, the Cabinet had also approved the cultivation and importation of White GMO maize.
“Cabinet considered a broad array of proposals touching on climate change adaptation,” read part of a dispatch from State House.
The ban on GMO imports was enforced in 2012 following a presidential decree by the late former President Mwai Kibaki.
The decree followed recommendations by the then Minister for Public Health Beth Mugo who cited a study by a French University that linked cancer in rats to the consumption of GM foods.
The Kenya Medical Research Institute also backed the findings of the research.
The United States government in April 2022 protested Kenya’s reluctance to lift the ban with the Joe Biden administration noting that the move was restricting its exports.