The Kenyan government has decided to lift the ban on the production and import of genetically modified food. The ban had been imposed on the country’s producers and importers ten years ago, under President Kibaki, after a study by the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (Kemri) showed a correlation between GM food consumption and tumours in rats. This decision had upset the United States, which has a large production of GMO food and at that time, saw its exports to Kenya blocked. It was during Ruto’s first visit to the US a few weeks ago that the two heads of state had agreed to strengthen the two countries’ trade ties. The move would therefore have implications in this direction (https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c40rjmqdlzzt/kenya).
The main motivation, however, remains to counter the worst drought in 40 years, which has been afflicting citizens for some time, and which has already turned into famine in many areas of the country. In this regard, the Cabinet’s decision was influenced by a task force, set up for the occasion. The task force noted the need to use new biotechnologies that enable crops to resist plagues and drought. Moreover, the WHO has repeatedly made it clear that there are strict safety standards to which genetically modified foodstuffs that are placed on the market are subject (https://nation.africa/kenya/news/gmo-food-now-legal-in-kenya-after-cabinet-lifts-ban-3971466).