A case contesting the release and planting of genetically modified organisms (GMO) maize in Kenya has been dismissed by the Court.
The Environment Court highlighted a lack of evidence in its finding that utilizing GMOs causes harm to human health or the environment.
GMOs have already sparked controversy about whether they are safe for human consumption. This comes after President William Ruto’s administration relaxed the country’s ban on GMO imports.
Following the decision, Ruto told Kenyans that genetically modified food posed no health risks and that he would not jeopardize Kenyans’ lives.
“To some extent, all of the food we import is GMO.” According to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the percentage must be one. But it means we’ll be paying 30-40% more for imports,” he remarked in March 2023.
“South Africa and the United States are GMO-free. Have you heard of anyone developing horns as a result of swallowing GMOs? I am a scientist; I would not jeopardize the lives of those who voted for me.”
According to the president, GMOs can be developed to be resistant to pests and diseases, eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides.
However, Raila Odinga’s Azimio and Civil Society organisations filed a lawsuit in court seeking to overturn Ruto’s instructions.
The groups claimed that the government had not supplied enough proof to prove that the genetically modified crops were safe to eat.
The High Court decided in favor of civil society organisations, prohibiting the product’s importation and distribution.
A three-judge court highlighted in its decision that the government had not supplied sufficient proof of the product’s safety.
However, the court today ruled in favor of Ruto, permitting the importing and consumption of GMO goods.