Kenya could soon begin using genetically modified animals in research as the country’s biosafety authority is set to finalize draft guidelines on regulation of contained use of transgenic animals. Speaking in a workshop on regulation of genetically modified animals in Kenya, acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) Prof Dorington Ogoyi, said the authority is leading the way in preparing the ground for regulating biotech animals.
The acting CEO said NBA is alive to the advancements in animal biotechnology, emphasizing that the authority is fast-tracking laws that support such advancements. Ogoyi was concerned that Kenya’s current regulations focus more on transgenic crops and do not support animal biotechnology. He however exuded confidence that the biosafety authority is swiftly moving into the realm of GM animals. “This will set the pace for the rest of Africa. We need to adapt accordingly,” Ogoyi said.
He revealed that NBA is learning from best practices in the world and drawing useful lessons from countries with GM animal applications, adding that NBA is progressively building a database on stakeholder experts who are pivotal in steering this cause.
The workshop, held in Nairobi on 28th February and 1st March, 2018, was attended by stakeholders in animal research, regulatory, communication, production and food standards. It sought to solicit expert views on drafting of the guidelines on regulation of GM animals research in Kenya, share international experiences in regulating animal biotechnology as well as explore possibilities of building a network of experts in animal biotechnology in the country and the region.
ISAAA AfriCenter, in collaboration with NBA, organized and facilitated the two-day workshop with support from USDA.