On Thursday 12th October, Kenya’s environment court dismissed a petition challenging the importation and cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Maize in Kenya. Following this judgement, Greenpeace Africa’s Food Campaigner Elizabeth Atieno had this response:

“Although the promise of GMOs in terms of high yield may seem attractive, the court’s decision raises profound concerns about the future of our agriculture, health, and environment. Endorsing GMOs without comprehensive, independent, and long-term environmental and health impact studies places our health and environment at undue risk”

“GMOs often come with an attendant burden of patent rights, potentially putting our farmers in a cycle of dependence on international organizations for seeds and related chemicals. Additionally, GMOs can crossbreed with native species, leading to unintentional hybridization, further leading to the loss of indigenous plant varieties. This reduces the genetic diversity that is essential for resilience against pests, diseases, and climate change.”

Constant exposure of pests to GMO crops, especially those engineered to produce their own insecticides, can lead to the evolution of ‘super pests’ that are resistant to these insecticides. This can result in an increased use of toxic chemical pesticides, which have been proven to pose risks to our health and environment.

“All these factors raise valid concerns about the well-being of farmers, the risk to biodiversity, and the potential for disturbing the natural balance of the ecosystem and potentially reducing soil fertility,” added Atieno.

Greenpeace Africa maintains that sustainable agricultural practices that maximise indigenous knowledge trump short-term corporate solutions that place profit ahead of sustainability.

We call on the government to reconsider its policies and reinstate the ban on GMOs. Let’s prioritize our health as a nation, the safety of the environment, and the rights of our farmers. Kenya must not put profit before health and its people.



In October 2022 the Kenya government, through a Cabinet Despatch, lifted a 10-year ban on cultivating and importing genetically modified organisms despite strong opposition from environmentalists. In January 2023, the Law Society of Kenya challenged the decision in court, arguing the decision was unconstitutional, and raised concerns over the safety of GMOs on human health. On Thursday 12th, Justice Oscar Angote dismissed the case and ruled that there was insufficient evidence GMOs could harm the environment or human health.

Contact details

Greenpeace Africa Press Desk: [email protected]

Ferdinand Omondi,
Greenpeace Africa Communications and Story Manager [email protected], +254 722505233