Last week, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party presidential candidate Raila Odinga strongly criticized the new regime for giving a nod to the importation of genetically modified maize (GMO).
While opposing the adoption of GMOs, the opposition leader said that Kenya should not be used as a dumping site for dirty products.
Raila’s remarks received mixed reactions from Kenyans who accused him of being hypocritical after it emerged that a decade ago, the then Prime Minister strongly advocated for the adoption of GMOs.
In the decade-old clip, the former PM castigated GMO critics, accusing them of failing to embrace technological advancement in the agricultural sector adding that conservatism will kill innovation.
This prompted the ODM leader to clarify why he is now opposing something that he once strongly supported.
In a statement on Monday, November 21, the former Prime Minister said his support for the importation of GMOs in 2011 was based on limited information at that time.
He said that as scientific research continues to change, new information has emerged, many of which show the effects of GMOs, thus prompting him to change his position.
“More than ten years later, new information has emerged, most of it against GMOs, as scientific scrutiny has intensified, leading to his change of mind,
“As science has evolved over the last decade, so has Raila Odinga’s thinking on GMOs,” Raila’s Communication Director, Dennis Onyango, responded to the video.
Veteran politician Raila Odinga said he was ready to learn and that he will support Kenya Kwanza’s plan to import GMOs only if they presented new scientific research supporting the safety of products.
“Odinga’s current stance on GMO is not a matter of hypocrisy but of being ready to learn, unlearn and relearn, the essence of literacy in the 21st century,” Raila added.