By Dr. Isaac Newton Kinity
The meaning of GMO is genetically modified organisms. Lifting the GMO means that the Government has allowed the manufacture and use of bio-engineered foods in Kenya. Although the Kenya Government may be in a panic mode about the prospects of food shortage, the lifting of GMO was untimely. There are dangers that may be associated with the inefficient and improper management of the GMO foods, which may result in millions of deaths if great care is not taken.
There were certain standards which were required before the lifting of the GMO. The Standards requirements for labeling foods that humans eat should be strictly followed. Bio-engineered foods may contain detectable genetic material modified through specific lab techniques. They cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature.
In America, where GMO is common, several Federal Agencies are responsible for the efficient management of GMO foods manufacturing companies. The FDA, EPA, USDA, APHIS, and PBCP are some of the Agencies which ensure the safety of the process of GMO foods. Most of those Federal Agencies in the USA play an important role in ensuring the safety of GMOs. In what is described as a coordinated framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, Multiple Agencies strictly regulate food production to ensure the safety of GMOs. The agencies collaborate and coordinate food handlers to make them understand the rules they must follow when developing new products using genetic engineering.
The FDA voluntary Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program, in USA, evaluates the safety of foods from new GMO, before they enter the market. The GMO, through the Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program, allows FDA to work with crop developers to help create a safe food supply. The Kenya Government may have hastily lifted the GMO without due regard for the different steps required in the GMO’s technicalities. Because of this observation, Kenya may not be ready for the GMO at the moment unless it is just a formality to instill hope into Kenyans.
Dr. Isaac Newton Kinity
Former Secretary General
Kenya Civil Servants Union.