The Nation reports that a University of Nairobi scientist, Gideon Nyamasyo and Imenti North MP differed over whether Kenya should adopt genetically modified crops to counter food shortage. In supporting the recently passed Biosafety Bill 2008, the lecturer said adopting GMO technology was the only way Kenya could free herself from the prevailing hunger. He believes that Kenyans lacked awareness on the importance of GMOs largely because personal interests have overshadowed proper debate.
However, the MP dismissed the lecturer’s suggestions, saying Kenyans would be put at risk if the technology was adopted. The MP was of the view that only a few people would benefit if the Biosafety Bill 2008 becomes law as only those who are financially able will control the seed sector.
The Biosagety Bill 2008 seeks to establish a National Biosafety Authority to regulate activities in genetically modified organism. The Bill further aims to facilitate research into and minimize the risks that may be posed by GMOs. According to information on the Parliament’s website, the Bill was passed 9th December 2008 and is only waiting for assent by the President to become law.