Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto announced August 12 that the Kenyan government will soon lift a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to create an enabling environment for the growth of biotechnology innovation and industries in Kenya.
GMO is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The Kenyan government banned GMOs since 2012 following the release of a study found that GMO maize caused cancer in rats.
The subject of GMOs is surrounded by controversy with international advocacy groups such as Organic Consumers Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace claiming that GMOs risks have not been adequately identified.
Reactions on Twitter varied sharply following Ruto's announcement.
Anti: ‘GMOs are a sin against humanity’
Padie Mwangi claims that Kenya's elite will save itself while the rest of the population is lumbered with GMOs.
Politicians like RUTO will tell u 2 to eat GMOs while their Families eat indigenous crops from their organic farms. http://t.co/HVI9uIMdwC
— Padie (@Padiemwangi) August 13, 2015
Are we cleverer than bees and flies?
HeinrichBöllStiftung in Nairobi, Kenya noted that genetically modified seeds’ prices keep soaring:
— HeinrichBöllStiftung (@HBSNairobi) August 13, 2015
Youth Without Future said:
COFEK, KENYA advised the government on how to best help Kenyan farmers without the use of GMOs:
— COFEK, KENYA (@ConsumersKenya) August 13, 2015
S.W. Maina warned:
Is labeling GM products for consumers a solution?:
— #Kenya #Online (@irenesconcierge) August 13, 2015
Truther Botred described GMOs as a “sin against humanity”:
GMOs are a sin against humanity because we're not short on food on this planet.
— trutherbotred (@trutherbotred) August 12, 2015
Following Deputy President Ruto’s now infamous opposition to homosexuality in Kenya, Dennis Maina said:
— Dennis maina (@Dennismaina4) August 13, 2015
Billow Ismail Jr. is worried that the Kenyan health system will not be able to handle GMO-related health risks:
— COFEK, KENYA (@ConsumersKenya) August 12, 2015
Alien Axioms maintained that GMOs will not solve Kenya’s food shortages:
While Olive Njeri called for focus on organic farming:
— olive (@aulyvnjeri) August 12, 2015
Pro: ‘Every technology is always opposed in the beginning’
Responding to arguments opposing the move by @KiamaKaara and @ConsumersKenya, Mwangi Wambui remarked:
Supporting the lifting of the ban, Mesha Kenya tweeted:
— Mesha Kenya (@MeshaKenya) August 13, 2015
David Muthini asked the opponents of GMOs the following question:
Ben Makenzie pointed out:
#GMOs are not substantially different from their non-GMO counterparts in regard to nutrition or taste. William Ruto should support them.
— Ben (@Ben_Makenzie) August 13, 2015
TechGuideKE explained why Kenyan farmers need GMOs:
“Whats the fuss about GMOs?” asked Junior Mwanza:
Whats the fuss about GMOs? we practically eat that stuff every day i mean, with the make up, bleaching and other scientific stuff ladies use
— Junior Mwanza (@Jr_2M) August 13, 2015
Dorothy Akolo castigated those opposed to the ban saying:
— Judith Dora Akolo (@JudithAkolo) August 13, 2015
Team Korir compared the opposition to GMOs to that of other useful technologies in the past:
— TeamKorir (@tkorir) August 13, 2015