Economy

State rules out GMO maize imports to tame cost of animal feeds

feed

A worker carries a bag of animal feeds. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said that decision can only be made by a committee that is looking at the current food situation in the country.
  • Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers petitioned government last month to allow duty-free importation of GMO yellow maize and soya to ease the current deficit.

The government has ruled out importation of GMO yellow maize following a request by millers to have them allowed to ship in the produce to address the current high cost of animal feeds.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said that decision can only be made by a committee that is looking at the current food situation in the country adding that the ban on GMO is still in place hence ruling out importation of these biotech crops.

Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers petitioned government last month to allow duty-free importation of GMO yellow maize and soya to ease the current deficit that has seen prices hit historic highs.

Mr Kimtai said the committee will make a decision on whether there is a need for importation of GMO yellow maize as requested by feed manufacturers only after all the safety measures have been considered.

“There is still a ban in place ... and until that is addressed, then it is impossible to allow the shipping at the moment,” said Mr Kimtai.

The ban on GMO products in the country was put in place in 2012 by then Health Cabinet Minister Beth Mugo and has remained despite requests by scientists to have it lifted after a journal that formed the basis of the current ban was retracted.