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Farmers defend muguka over claim it causes cancer.

Muguka farmers and dealers have dismissed claims that the mild stimulant causes cancer.

They say there is no documented evidence to support the claim.

A week ago, Embu county secretary Johnson Nyaga said muguka causes cancer owing to carcinogenic chemicals sprayed on it.

He spoke at the Embu Professionals and Development Association meeting at Isaak Inn.

Nyaga said it is feared people get the disease after chewing muguka since the leaves are not washed before consumption.

Farmers from muguka growing areas led by Nthawa MCA Nathan Mwari said those who demonize the crop make baseless allegations.

Mwari said he never heard any doctor or scientist specifying that a certain type of cancer is caused by muguka.

The MCA said people have been eating food with many chemicals that cause cancer. Muguka has never been associated with any disease in Kenya or abroad, he said.

He said muguka is a source of livelihood for many people and campaigns against the stimulant would ruin them economically.

Mwari said in counties like Garissa, Marsabit and Moyale a lot of people chew muguka but here have never been reports that they suffer from any kind of cancer.

Mwari said muguka farmers will counter anybody who will try to demonize the stimulant without substantiating their claims.

He said such claims will make the stimulant lose the local and international markets.

He called on scientists to do research to trace the good elements of the stimulant instead of dismissing it as a bad crop.

Mwari said when consuming the stimulant one does not swallow the leaves butthe sap.

He expressed disappointment that there are people claiming the stimulant causes infertility, noting that this is true then scientists should extract that element to to be used as a contraceptive.

Mwari said there are claims that muguka causes sleeplessness. Scientists should extract the element and use it to manufacture drugs to cure diseases associated with sleeping.

'Muguka is a good crop and no scientist has come up with results to the contrary and most of the negative remarks directed at muguka are just imagination,' said Mwari

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 8, 2019
Words:408
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