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October 06, 2019

Kenyan Ban On GM Crops To Be Lifted

Genetically modified organism (GMO) crops and products soon will be allowed in Kenya, where a ban on the technology has been in place since 2012.

While Kenya has made significant progress on GMOs in terms of enacting watertight regulations and controlled research on crops such as Bt maize, Bt cotton, cassava, sorghum, and sweet potato, the ban has meant the country cannot progress to the commercialization stage.

For the East African nation the move toward lifting the ban is timely and well informed. It comes hot on the heels of widespread studies that have validated the safety of GM crops and repudiated the Seralini paper, the controversial study by Gilles-Eric Seralini that alleges GMOs cause cancer and which Kenya used in justifying the ban.

For Kenya, lifting the ban would mean the country is only the fourth nation in Africa to allow commercialization of GM crop, following South Africa, Sudan, and Nigeria.

South Africa allows for food crops in the form of biotech maize, soybeans, and cotton, while Sudan allows biotech cotton. Nigeria has become the latest country to allow GM crops, with open cultivation of cotton and cowpea.

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