There are so many concerns tied to GMO foods — health concerns from scientifically documented health risks, environmental concerns by the bushel, and economic returns (GMO companies are generally large and monopolistic and are not good for small farmers and communities). For all of these reasons, and maybe more, there is a strong groundswell of opposition to GMOs around the world, including in Kenya. Last week, the African Biodiversity Network released a statement on how it thinks the Kenyan government should be supporting its farmers and protecting its citizens.
In addition to the points above about GMOs, the African Biodiversity Network mentioned a number of reports by the UN and others (some of which we’ve covered here on Eat Drink Better) about how we can most effectively feed the world (hint: small-scale, ecological farming). Here’s the intro to the African Biodiversity Network’s statement:
We demand the recognition of organic agriculture and other agro-ecological farming practices in Kenya’s agriculture policies and practices.
The developers of GMOs have exerted great pressure to ensure that our recently enacted Biosafety Act of 2009 serves the interests of foreign agribusiness, rather than farmers and consumers. The introduction of patented seeds and related chemicals into our farming systems threatens our agricultural practices, our livelihoods, the environment, and undermines our seed sovereignty. We believe that we can feed our communities and this country with organic and agroecological farming practices that do not destroy, pollute and contaminate food, land and seeds. Our ability to feed Africa through agro-ecological practices is recognised and supported by UN reports [see also], the IAASTD report and many research findings. We call upon the government to support small scale farmers in having access to water and capacity building in agro-ecology and for this to be enshrined in our Kenyan policies.
Read the full statement here: Kenyans Demand a Stop to GMO Food Imports.
Good luck to them!
Related Stories on Eat Drink Better:
- GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 13 Scientific Studies
- Ecological Farming Can Feed the World, UN Reports
- UN: Small Farms Key to Global Food Security
- UN: More Sustainable Farming Needed to Feed the World
- Lima, Peru Becomes a GMO-Free Zone