Source – Standard Media (Kenya)
By Dann Okoth
Date – 25 July 2013
Website – www.standardmedia.co.ke
Kenya has been challenged to lift the ban on Genetically Modified Organisms ( GMOs) for the country to achieve its potential in food production.
Mr Mark Lynas, a researcher at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, criticised the government’s ban on GM products saying the decision was not informed by science.
“I know the technology is shrouded in controversy inKenya because of the ban but I’m sorry to say the decision was not informed by concrete scientific evidence but rather by falsehood being peddled by forces opposed to the technology,” Mr Lynas said.
The adoption of the technology has been dogged by controversy over safety concerns, the latest being triggered by a recent French scientific research.
The Seralini report, which has since been disproved by the global scientific community and the French Academy of Sciences as lacking in scientific procedures, claimed consumption of GMOs could cause cancer.
Kenya banned the importation and consumption of the products in December pending investigations into safety issues.
But addressing a press conference at KICC on Thursday, Mr Lynas urged the government to consider lifting the ban noting Kenya had the legal and infrastructural framework to support a safe and sustainable adoption of the technology.
Ironically, Lynas is a former sworn GM critic-turned-advocate and even founded the global movement against GMOs.
“I was an ardent critic of the technology before I saw the light,” said the researcher who gave a public lecture on the technology.
“My earlier stance on the technology was informed by lack of information and emotions. But being an environmental scientist and writer, I could no longer stand in the way of proven scientific evidence pertaining to the technology,’ he said.