Orange Democratic Party leader, Raila Odinga yesterday broke his silence to counter Moses Kuria’s controversial remarks on GMOs.
Raila Odinga strongly opposed remarks from the Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria, on GMOs and termed them as heartless to the common Mwanainchi for they do not care about the future generation.
Kuria earlier promoted the use of GMOs with the rationale that the safety of GMO foods should not worry Kenyans since there are a thousand ways for Kenyans to die in the country, and adding GMOs would just be another one.
“Being in this country you are a candidate for death. And because there are many things competing for death, there is nothing wrong with adding GMOs to that list,” the CS said on November 18.
“Moses Kuria’s remarks on this matter are regrettable. To say that even without GMOs, Kenyans will die anyway is a mockery to the people of Kenya,” Raila observed.
“As a party, we believe the matter of GMO foods in our country is too serious to be reduced to a cruel and juvenile joke. Officials who lack scientific literacy on such serious matters must never use their office to demean the Kenyan people as though we are a helpless, enslaved lot,” he added.
He strongly disagrees with President Ruto’s administration’s plan to import Genetic Modified Foods.
Raila has already mobilized his allies in parliament to shoot down the government’s plan to import controversial foods.
In a press briefing yesterday at Jaramogi Oginga offices in Nairobi, the former Prime Minister urged President Ruto to allow Kenyans to engage in debate and discuss the issue before lifting the ban.
Raila says the new government’s decision to lift the ban on GMOs is a betrayal to Kenyans without giving them an opportunity to say a word and at the expense of foreign companies with interests in GMOs.
“GMOs can cause harm to human and animal life and to the entire national ecosystems. They can dramatically reduce or eliminate plant diversity. It is an established fact that once GMOs are introduced, it is virtually impossible to stop their transfer where natural crops are grown because of wind and insect pollination.
“In other words, GMOs can completely wipe out native and natural crops leaving Kenyans dependent on seeds and foods produced by GMO multinationals,” Raila said.
“GMOs are dangerous to both humans and animals and they have been banned in major European countries and the Americas.
“Parliament should take the lead on this matter,” Raila remarked in a terse statement on Sunday, November 20.
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“The directive will flood the Kenyan market with cheap maize forcing farmers to sell their produce at a loss to match the competition,” Raila expressed.
“We will oppose this directive and stand in solidarity with our farmers because they have invested a lot to grow maize and they cannot be impoverished by imported products,” Odinga swore.