Thursday, May 25, 2023 –Courts have dealt a blow to plans by Kenya Kwanza government to import Genetically Modified Organism GMO maize into the country.
Ruto’s administration had threatened to bring in the Western artificialmaize supplies as part of its efforts to stabilise food in the country.
But on Thursday May 25, government lost the case which had been filed by Office of the Attorney General seeking node to commence the importation.
The Nairobi Court of Appeal made a straight 21-page ruling describing the exercise to bring in the GMO maize as risky since members of the public and all stakeholders had not been involved in the entire decision.
The court stated that the matter was of serious public interest, and, therefore, no fair to start importations before consulting on the matter widely.
“Applicant must establish the first two aspects, that is, the arguability test and the nugatory aspect,” the court ruling read in part.
The judge added that the public interest in the matter was of substantial weight and ought to be given a chance first.
“The public interest test was not meant to stand alone or replace either of the two tests. In our opinion, the Supreme Court introducing the public interest consideration did not dislodge the other considerations.
“See in Law Society of Kenya v Bloggers Association of Kenya & 6 Others (2020) eKLR. In the end, we find no merit in the application as the applicants did not satisfy us on all three limbs,” went on the ruling.
AG Justine Muturi, on December 23, moved to the Court of Appeal seeking orders to lift ban on importation of GMO food into the country.
The verdict to ban the GMO was made at the High Court level in March 2023 when coalition of Civil Society Groups filed the case.
GMO debate had also seen top leaders in the country, Raila Odinga and President William Ruto take-on each other over its safety.
Raila, together with his opposition team, had maintained that GMO maize would harm Kenyans since its composition is not safe for human use.
On the other hand, government side would term Raila’s sentiments as misinformation deliberately made for political mileage.