‘Rich idlers with bowl of pizza’ – CS Moses Kuria shuts down critics over GMO comment

Saturday, November 19th, 2022 14:03 | By
Rich idlers with plate of pizza - CS Moses Kuria shuts down critics over GMO comment
Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria. PHOTO/Courtesy

As if Kenyans needed any more 'convincing reason' for the importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) maize, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria has offered a bluntly dire assessment to shut down critics.

Taking to Twitter, Moses Kuria called out netizens who castigated him and the government for his explanations on clearing the importation of 10 million bags of duty-free GMO maize to mitigate the effects of hunger terming them as rich idlers.

"It is completely callous for rich idlers and Twitterati with a bowl of pizza and fish fingers to continue attacking our GMO policy while Hustlers are dying of hunger and poisoned donkey meat. You will burn in h*ll," he tweeted.

Kuria had, albeit with a light touch stated that there was no harm in bringing in GMO maize as Kenyans were, in any case, dying from so many causes.

“We have two deliberate steps. One is that we have so many things that can kill us in this country,” he said at the Strathmore Business School during a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises forum. “Living in this country you are a candidate for death,” he said, sending the audience into sustained laughter.

Kuria said that because there were so many things competing for death, there would be nothing wrong to add GMOs to that list. 

“That’s why we have deliberately decided to allow GMOs into this country,” he said. He explained that the decision to allow the importation of duty-free maize was because the country is experiencing a dire food shortage which has exposed more than four million Kenyans to hunger.

“Until we are satisfied that we have enough maize in this country, our staple food, tomorrow I am signing a gazette notice to allow for the importation of up to 10 million bags of maize, duty-free for the next six months until we achieve food security,” he said arguing that it is the cardinal responsibility as a government to ensure the country is food secure. “I know this will offend some people, from the GMO opponents and importers, but I will do this and will do it as government,” Moses Kuria maintained.

“Even if we will lose some votes here and there, at least we will see the Kingdom of Heaven,” Kuria continued.

The Cabinet approved the lifting of the ban on October 3, paving way for the cultivation and importation of GMO crops including maize after a decade.

In a statement, the government said the lifting of the ban imposed in 2012 will improve food security in the country amid the ravaging drought that has caused hunger in more than 20 counties.

“In accordance with the recommendation of the Task Force to Review Matters Relating to Genetically Modified Foods and Food Safety, and in fidelity with the guidelines of the National Biosafety Authority on all applicable international treaties including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB), Cabinet vacated its earlier decision of November 8, 2012, prohibiting the open cultivation of genetically modified crops and the importation of food crops and animal feeds produced through biotechnology innovations, effectively lifting the ban on Genetically Modified Crops,” the government said.

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