Catholic Bishops have joined Azimio leader Raila Odinga in asking the government to reverse its order of importing 10 million bags of GMO maize as a mitigation measure to curb the ongoing food crisis in the country.
Speaking on Monday in Nyeri, Archbishop Anthony Muheria told the government not to trivialize serious matters like GMOs, food security, and farming and that there should be deep consultations with all stakeholders involved, including Kenyans before allowing the food into the country.
”Kenyans deserve respect and not spite. It is not good to joke with death or gamble with the lives of Kenyans as if it was Russian roulette. This matter is more than just a joke when we speak about GMOs. It is a serious matter that deserves serious discussion, deep and sober engagement,” Archbishop Muheria said.
Yesterday, Raila Odinga in a statement asked the government to immediately reverse their decision on GMO foods until Kenyans have a robust debate on the matter.
Raila said the science on GMO foods and farming is at best extremely controversial and at worst incomplete and that studies that have come close to giving GMOs a clean bill of health are generally those sponsored by the biotechnology companies or their associates.
“There is no scientific study thus far that has unequivocally cleared GMOs as fit for human consumption and the environment. We challenge the government to share with Kenyans the scientific study it is relying on to declare GMO maize as fit for our consumption and our environment,” Odinga said.
Senator Samson Cherargei will be leading a group of MPs from the Rift Valley region to meet Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mithika Lintuiri and his Trade, Investment, and Industry counterpart Moses Kuria for talks on the ongoing plans to import the GMO maize.
“It is surprising that the CSs for Trade and Agriculture appear not to recognise the fact that our farmers are currently harvesting maize. I don’t think the statement on importing maize was made in good faith. It will demoralise our farmers. MPs from the Rift Valley region will be sitting with the two CSs by Tuesday to address this matter,” the Nandi Senator said.