In 2010, then Prime Minister Raila Odinga strongly defended the importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) maize.
Raila who was speaking during the tenth parliament said economies like the United States of America would not have allowed their citizens to feast on GMOs if indeed the produce was not safe for human consumption.
While urging the country to adopt GMOs, Raila said that conservatism would kill science and innovations.
“Embrace science and you should Mr. Speaker know that science is moving on. So, Mr. Speaker, conservatism will kill innovation,” Raila who was then serving as a prime Minister was quoted as saying.
However, on Sunday, November 20, the Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga criticized the Kenya Kwanza government for authorizing the importation of GMO maize.
Raila said the decision to allow the importation of 10 million bags of GMO maize without public participation will have catastrophic implications for the country’s Agriculture sector.
“We in Azimio La Umoja want to state categorically that this decision – which has been made without deliberation or public participation – will have far-reaching and catastrophic implications for Kenya’s agriculture, the health of the Kenyan people, and our environment,” Odinga’s statement reads in part.
He said by allowing the importation of GMOs, President William Ruto was not working for Kenyans but for foreign multinationals against the interests of Kenyans.
“He (President William Ruto) is being a puppet, working for foreign nations and their multinationals against our interest as a nation. Ruto is not working to promote Kenyan research work in Kenyan universities, colleges, and institutions. He is working to promote foreign biotechnology institutions abroad,” he added.
Raila’s sentiments come just days after Trade Cabinet Minister Moses Kuria said that the country hopes to import at least 10 million bags of GMO maize to arrest the skyrocketing cost of Unga.