Azimio leader Raila Odinga has clarified his recent stand on GMOs that has elicited sharp debate among Kenyans.
Raila's Communication Director Dennis Onyango dismissed the claims that the leader had become a master of double speak by opposing GMOs yet he supported the same a decade ago.
"Odinga’s current position on GMOs is therefore not a case of double speak but a result of willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn, the essence of literacy in the 21st century," Onyango said.
Raila acknowledged that while serving as Prime Minister, he supported the introduction of GMOs into the country, saying it was based on limited information on the same.
Pointing out that it has been 10 years since then, new information has emerged hence his current stand against GMOs.
He said as scientific scrutiny on GMOs has intensified, he had a change of mind, from supporting the genetically modified foods, to now opposing them.
"As science has evolved of the last decade, so has Odinga’s thinking on GMOs," Onyango emphasized.
He said in the case the government presents Kenyans with convincing scientific information that supports the suitability of GMOs for humans and the environment, the opposition leader will stand ready to embrace the new information.
The statement comes a day after Raila condemned the government's plans to import some 10 millions bags of GMO maize into the country saying that will “expose Kenyans to health risks”.
“The UDA regime will subject Kenyans to unproven and dangerous foods in an attempt to please international interests that do not care about our safety,” he warned on Sunday.
“GMOs can cause harm to human and animal life and to the entire national ecosystems. They can dramatically reduce or eliminate plant diversity.”
The remarks drew accusation of double speak, with Molo MP Kuria Kimani saying Raila was opposing his word for the sake of it.
"One of the problems I have with the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is most of the time he opposes things just for the sake of it. I'm saying this because on August 3, 2011 at the floor of the National Assembly, Raila defended GMO," he said.