MP Raises Concerns About GMO Maize in Kenya and Wants Ministers to Resign

MP John Mututho

CHAIRMAN of the Kenyan Parliament’s Agriculture Committee John Mututho wants two Ministers who he says sanctioned the importation of 40,000 metric tonnes of Genetic Modified (GM) maize into the country to step aside. Mututho also sounded the alarm over the possibility that the maize could already be gracing dinner tables in the country with 10,000 metric tonnes of the consignment said to be missing from the Green Bulk Handlers Ltd silos at the Mombasa port.

The Naivasha MP wants incoming Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgey to turn down her new posting from the Higher Education Ministry and resign from government as well as her Industrialization counterpart Henry Kosgey over the scandal. He said his committee will in due course be summoning the two Ministers to explain how such an outrageous amount of GM maize said not to be fit for human consumption was allowed into the country.

The MP, who was addressing a press conference at Parliament buildings said the committee would also retable its report detailing how the government officials colluded to have contaminated maize brought into the country last year. Mututho said the committee would be seeking to know from Sally how the Ministry blatantly allowed the breach of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety provisions on Genetically Modified Organisms and from Kosgey how the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services that is a regulatory agency for Quality assurance on agricultural inputs and produce certified the quality of the maize. “The two Ministers should do the most Christian thing and step down to allow for investigations. This is a very immoral and evil thing for any government official to allow to happen under their watch,” he said.

The Agriculture Committee is already conducting investigations into how the consignment, said to be part of a further 240,000 metric tonnes (about three million bags) of genetically modified maize was secretly imported into the country.The Committee earlier this month camped at the Mombasa Port to try to unravel details on the importation of such maize believed to have been consumed by Kenyans and planted by unsuspecting farmers across the country.

The MPs said they were concerned that the maize was likely to have been consumed by Kenyans before proper research to ascertain its effects on their health. Mututho said reports indicated genetically modified maize has been imported in large quantities especially from South Africa and allowed to be discharged by Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

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