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Court briefly stops govt. from importing genetically modified maize

The decision was made due to pending hearing and determination of another case against adoption of bio-technology in food production lodged at the High Court.

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The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by the government seeking to allow importation, cultivation and consumption of Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) in Kenya.

The decision was made due to pending hearing and determination of another case against adoption of bio-technology in food production lodged at the High Court.

The dismissal now means traders and millers will now have to pay top dollar to import white non genetically modified maize from the international markets.

In their ruling, Justices Mohammed Warsame, Abida Ali-Aroni and John Mativo argued that the application by the government lacked merit and did not meet public interest test.

This means an order barring the importation or distribution of GMO crops in Kenya stands until a case filed at the High Court by the Kenyan Peasants League, a social movement, is heard and determined.

In its application, the government had argued that the adoption of bio technology will address the challenges facing the country in terms of food security and lower the cost of food and animal feeds.

The government had hoped the court would allow importation of GMO maize to reduce the cost of maize flour.

The argument was however dismissed by the three-judge bench on grounds that there was no public participation. The ruling read in part, “..the responses by the applicants failed to address why the decision arrived at was not subjected to public participation; why the report which preceded the making of such a declaration was not made public to allow stakeholder engagement; the responses did not address why the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment acknowledged the dangers of GMO on the 18th of November, 2022 yet he saw nothing wrong with the importation.”

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