Kenya: Label Genetically Modified Foods Activists Demand

by jeeg 18. October 2012 23:50

CIVIL society groups yesterday petitioned the government to ensure that genetically modified food in the country is labelled to protect consumers.

The activists, who marched from Uhuru Park's Freedom Corner to Harambee House and the Office of the Prime Minister before proceeding to Parliament, said research has shown that GM food is harmful to human health.

The group included farmers representatives, organisations, animal welfare activists, religious organisations, consumer networks and civil society among others.

Bunge la Mwananchi president Cidi Otieno said Article 46 of the constitution demands the right to information necessary for consumers.

He said Biosafety Act of 2009 provides for regulations for handling,transporting and labeling genetically modified organisms. A senior official from the office of President Evans Kyule received the petition on behalf of the President.

In the petition the group demands strict adherence to the standards on labeling as well as labeling regulation Legal notice no 40 that was gazetted in May 2012 by the Kenya Bureau of Standard (KEBS) National Bio safety Authority NBA among other relevant regulatory authorities in a short term.

They also demanded a comprehensive review of the Bio safety Act to align it with the requirements of the new Constitution.The petition also demanded the government to put a 10 year moratorium on GMOs so that more facts about them can emerge and undergo scrutiny.

"I assure you that your letter is in safe hands we are going to present it to the right office and discuss the matter with the Ministry of Agriculture and related offices so that adequate measures can be put in place,"Kyule said.

Elizabeth Were, All Africa

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