Court stops Government from importing GMO

Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.

The High Court has temporarily stopped the government from importing or distributing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the country.

Justice Mugure Thande prohibited the CS Agriculture and their agents from acting on the Cabinet dispatch which lifted the ban on GMO. 

“The petition and application be served upon all parties by close of business today 28th November 2022,” the judge ruled.

The case will be mentioned on 15th December 2022 for directions. 

This is after the Kenyan Peasants League filed a petition against State Law and Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries opposing the importation, cultivation and consumption of GMO crops and food in the country. 

KPL argued that GMO food poses a deadly health hazard to Kenyans, particularly the poor and those of low income.

In his affidavit, KPL leader Cidi Otieno noted the recent statements by CS Moses Kuria where he stated that “there was nothing wrong with adding GMOs to the list of the things that can kill Kenyans.” 

Otieno told the court that such a statement from the CS in charge of the Kenya Bureau of Standards meant that the GMOs were indeed dangerous for human consumption and that the actions of the government threaten the health and human life contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya. 

The Cabinet had announced the resumption of GMO after a 10-year suspension. 

The decision was made after a Cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto in a bid to mitigate the ongoing drought.

“If indeed the government needed to mitigate hunger, it was free to import safe maize from neighbouring Tanzania or other countries, rather than import food that would lead to long term diseases of the consumers,” Otieno added.