Kenyan GMO Trials Delayed

In a turnabout decision, Kenya’s NEMA (National Environmental Management Authority) has ruled out immediate trials for GMOs, now requiring the Agriculture ministry to revisit policy. The agency had approved field trials to begin but now says that researchers need to wait for the ministry to approve it. If that happens, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) will begin trials that will likely take up to two years, after which seed multiplication and supply will happen.

The ban on GMOs in Kenya started in 2012, based on a study linking GMOs and cancer in lab rats. The report was later retracted.


Kenya to test Bt Maize

GMO Maize
National Biosafety Authority, chief executive officer, Dr Willy Tanui

In Kenya’s Kitale region, the Kenya Plant and Health Inspectorate Service will begin testing GMO insect-resistant maize before releasing it to farmers potentially in 2018 (should it perform better than conventional crops). See the article here in the Star. It is hoped that the Bt Maize will reduce the amount of crop lost to stem-borer (presently about 13 percent of Kenya’s crop, which equates to 400,000 tons of maize a year).