Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have been a focal point in international green news as of late. Just recently, the country of Scotland declared their freedom from GMOs, following in the footsteps of other countries like Russia. Yet, if Scotland wants to truly be independent from GMOs, they’ll need to reorganize their organic farming, an industry that has slipped by eight percent back in 2014.
Nevertheless, Scotland is the latest country to join other countries that have jumped on the anti-GMO bandwagon. However, not every country believes that GMOs are dangerous. Once such country is Kenya in which William Ruto states the country’s government will lift the ban on GMOs within two months.
According to Kenyan news site Daily Nation, Deputy President William Ruto opened the annual Bio-Safety Conference at the Kenya School of Monetary Studios in Nairobi. He said consultations over GMOs between the Kenyan government and numerous parties in support of GMOs have concluded. Now the Cabinet is expected to discuss in more depth the situation prior to allowing GMOs into Kenya.
“Various government ministries, departments and agencies concerned with biotechnology have already consulted and agreed on the necessary regulations and safety measures to be adhered to so that we can maximize on agricultural production, improve health services, conserve the environment and basically improve the living standards of our people.”
Apparently, William Ruto believes accepting GMOs is the direction Kenya needs to go. He believes if the country does not, they will be left behind by the rest of the world in adopting biotechnology.
“Scientists, and especially those from the National Biosafety Authority, should be able to confound sceptics. We should be able to tell the public that anything genetically modified is not harmful. Science and technology is what will take us to the next level.”
It should be known that GMOs have been banned in Kenya for the last three years after a study led by molecular biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini found GMO corn caused serious diseases in rats, as reported by Star Africa. However, the journal it was published in, Food and Chemical Toxicology, retracted the study. Séralini claims such was done because of the journal’s appointment of Richard Goodman, who previously worked for Monsanto for seven years.
Still, the retraction of Gilles-Eric Séralini’s study, along with Kenyan scientists providing empirical evidence in which they claim GMOs are safe, is a primary contributor to the push for lifting the GMO ban. Also, GMOs have been advertised as a method to fight hunger, something Kenya has a problem with.
[Image via William Ruto’s Official Facebook Page]