Kenyan Government Dragged to Court over GMOs

Civil Society players in Uganda have dragged the Kenyan Government to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) accusing the Country’s cabinet of allowing open cultivation and importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the country on 3rd October 2022.

Addressing journalists at EACJ Sub-registry in Kampala, these noted that seed and indigenous food is East Africa’s gold mine which deserves utmost legal protection.

All East African countries had taken bold steps towards eliminating open cultivation and importation of GMOs, Kenya inclusive, whose ban was announced on 8th November 2012.

“This decision is not only ruthless but unreasonable and illegal,” said Eddie Mukiibi, the President Slow Food International.

They also noted that the Kenyan Government’s reasons for allowing unrestricted cultivation and importation of GMOs downplays the fact that there are many unanswered questions of toxicity, allergic reactions and suppression of the immune system among the human being caused by the GMOs.

“GMOs create an open monopoly resulting in the economic exploitation of smallholder farmers amidst the already crippling economic environment. The African Charter on Human and people’s rights restricts State parties from embracing all forms of foreign economic exploitation particularly those practiced by international monopolies so as to enable their people to fully benefit from the advantages derived from their national resources,” said Kabanda David- Executive Director Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT).

Amidst the discussions on GMOs in Kenya, the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community creates clear legal obligations which bar GMOs.

Among the fundamental principles laid down by the Treaty is peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness. It also creates legal obligations to partner states to promote the development of good nutritional standards and the popularization of indigenous foods.

“GMOs further threaten the realization of the right to adequate food, because food must be free from adverse substances and fit for human consumption. GMOs undermine food and seed sovereignty, and the cultural diversity of communities to the food system,”
they said.

Globally, only 4 companies control 60% of the proprietary GMO seed sales and this unprecedented level of control raises significant concerns over the erosion of agri-biodiversity, farmers’ rights to seed, livelihoods and food security.

However, all hope is not lost in achieving the right to adequate food in the East African region since about 80% percent of the population lives in rural areas and engage in agriculture.

“This serves as an opportunity to promote agroecology, food security, food and seed sovereignty using a human rights-based approach through observing the rule of law. In light to the security of tenure, smallholder farmers’ rights to land should be of paramount consideration to avoid land evictions.”

“It is therefore critically important that action is urgently instituted in the East African Court of Justice, as a legal strategy to promote and protect the right to adequate food, livelihoods, health and environmental rights for the present and future generations,” the petition reads in part.

 

The post Kenyan Government Dragged to Court over GMOs first appeared on ChimpReports.

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