African Press International (API)

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Majority of Kenyans willing to embrace GMO

Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2007

Nairobi (Kenya) A new research conducted by the Research International Organization International, a non-governmental organization, has revealed that a majority of Kenyans are now willing to embrace Genetically Modified Foods (GMO).

The study that was conducted between May and June 2006 to establish the public perception on the biotechnology indicates that 81 percent of Kenyans consider new technologies as the only way to eradicate poverty and make the economy competitive.

Melissa Baker, the International Public and Social Director for Research International Organization said that 52 percent of the respondents said that getting food for them and their families was their first priority.

“These people said getting enough food to eat for them and their families is the key issue, but 15 percent said they are concerned with avoiding food with ingredients that may be harmful,” said Baker.

While addressing journalists in Nairobi on Saturday, Ms Baker described the 15 percent as the more sensitive group.

The study further indicates that 52 percent of Kenyans rarely check the contents of the food they buy while only 20 percent fear there may be risks involved in adopting GMO foods.

Baker however conceded that a majority of the respondents lack basic information about such foods.

“The survey recommended increasing the availability of accurate information to both the population and to key stakeholder groups, involve all stakeholders in the process of any genetically modified crop introduction and then overcome some of the concerns such as the perception that there may be negative health impact”, Baker added.

Baker said 77 percent of the respondents trust medical professionals and the media to pass on the information on GMO technology while only 15 percent trust NGO’s on the same.

The countrywide study had 2,500 respondents above 18 years of age.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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