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Kenyans Protest Over GM Maize Imports

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Politics and Democracy page.

Hundreds of people have marched in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, against government plans to import genetically modified (GM) maize.

They were protesting at reports that Kenya would lift its restrictions on GM crops following a recent drought, leading to maize shortages.

The demonstrators said they believed a shipment had already arrived and feared it could contaminate the soil.

Kenyan millers want to import cheap GM maize to cope with the shortages.

The BBC's Odhiambo Joseph in Nairobi says the protesters included farmers and environmentalists.

"The importation of GM maize is a ploy by leading millers to kill us - the small-scale farmer," protester Gacheke Gachihi said.

The march was organised by the African Biodiversity Network and the Unga Revolution. 'Toxic product'

They said a consignment of GM maize from South Africa was in the port city of Mombasa, waiting to be off-loaded. Continue reading the main story "Start Quote

GM maize is cheaper by about 30% compared with non-GM maize"

Diamond Lalji Chairman of Kenya's Cereal Millers Association

They wanted it destroyed or sent back, the protesters said.