GMO companies like Monsanto are constantly searching for new ways into the lucrative African market, backed up some of the most powerful corporate NGOs in the world, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The consequences are often dire, and there has been notable repercussions following their implementation. In Burkina Faso, the first African country to permit the use of GMOs, has since withdrawn that permission after they caused millions of dollars in losses to Burkinabe farmers.
Last week, despite protests from these major corporate players and GMO advocates, the Kenyan government ruled: “There is no evidence of adequate tests to determine the safety of genetically modified products, which are still finding their way into the country due to weak border control mechanisms. The committee notes no GM product has so far been tested for safety by biosafety authority. The present Biosafety Act passed by Parliament in 2009 has no specific provisions for testing for safety. The ban should not be lifted because GM products must pass a preliminary independently verified study which covers the acute and sub-acute phase of testing for human consumption. The long term tests will involve animal testing for at least three generations to rule out any trans-generational harm.”
Slow Food welcomes the Kenyan government’s decision to uphold ban on genetically-modified agriculture, in place since November 2012. The livelihood of Kenyan small-scale traditional farming depends upon it, including seven Slow Food Presidia, fifty-nine Ark of Taste products, and over 350 community and school gardens, all of whom would be threatened by the legalization of GMOs in the country.