EAC needs to take a stand on GMOs

Editor, RE: “Making case for genetically modified foods” (The New Times, September 12).


RE: “Making case for genetically modified foods” (The New Times, September 12).

The polemic surrounding GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) has been around for a long time. From all the literature we have been reading in various media, one can conclude that no country can confidently claim that GMOs are safe for consumption.

Therefore, I am surprised to hear that Kenya is about to lift the ban on GMOs. In an attempt to increase production, several months ago, I happened to watch TV 5 with farmers in Burkina Faso complaining about low production of their newly introduced GMO cotton seeds compared to their traditional cotton.

They had been promised that the GMO cotton was going to yield more as it did not need as much water as their traditional cotton. On the same channel, they reported a few months later that babies in Argentina were being born with abnormalities which doctors concluded were caused by dust from GMO soya.

The author did mention what he called a controversial study by a French scientist but he is not the only one who researched on GMOs; several other scientists from developed countries did. Some supported the benefits of GMOs and others warned us of their potential consequences.

It is also a known fact that scientists who claimed that GMOs paused no danger to our health, their research were sponsored by Mosanto, a company that is known to care much about its profits and less about the public.

A few days ago, a French farmer won a case against that same Mosanto for having been poisoned by a pesticide it manufactured. The farmer had bought the pesticide and used it on his farm and began developing health problems, which were linked to that pesticide.

So, with Kenya lifting the ban, are we going to be safe? Why can't East Africa have a common agriculture policy like the EU does? If we had such a policy, Kenya would not take such a dangerous step that has the potential to affect the entire East Africa region.



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