In response to news that some of Kenya’s imported sugar contains dangerous elements such as copper and lead; and that fertilisers sold to farmers in Kenya are reported to be laced with harmful mercury, Greenpeace Africa has called on the government of Kenya to act now; Food for life Campaigner, Claire Nasike has said:
“It is very shocking that food meant for human consumption contains these metals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) copper and lead are harmful to human health. Exposure to small amounts of mercury has been shown to cause serious health problems on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys which may be fatal.
“Greenpeace is calling upon the government of Kenya, the Kenya Bureau of Standards and businesses importing food to act with collective urgency to protect millions of Kenyans from consuming food that will have detrimental effects on their health. It is critical that Kenya ensures that consumers have access to safe and healthy food.
“The current situation exposes a failed food system in which government supports industrial agriculture over small scale farmers who produce a bulk of the food consumed by Kenyans and constitute 30% of Kenya’s farming population. Industrial Agriculture has disastrous consequences for the environment, for local farmers, consumers and the overall food system.
“Greenpeace Africa calls on the government of Kenya to adopt a food system where all farmers and consumers benefit from the diversity of produce grown sustainably in a safe and healthy manner. Sustainably grown food is guaranteed through ecological farming – a farming practice which combines indigenous knowledge, modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity. It ensures healthy farming and healthy food. It protects the soil, water and the climate. It does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs. It places farmers, consumers and producers, not corporations at its very heart.”