The Uganda Biotechnology and Bio safety Consortium (UBBC) has called on Parliament to pass the GMO bill before its expiry this month.
“There is no technology without side effects, neither have I had anyone dying of genetically modified goods. All we want is a regulatory system to measure what is good for us and what is not,” UBBC chairman Erostus Nsubuga said yesterday.
“We have so many genetically modified goods on the market sold due to the non-regulatory space favouring them. If the bill is passed, it will ease production for farmers.”
Head of National Agriculture Biotechnology Centre at Kawanda, Andrew Kiggundu said different GMOs have different side effects while some are developed to remove toxins.
“We have invested a lot of years to develop products that suit specific needs; 100% are resistant varieties. The availability of food is a challenge especially with cassava mosaic and brown strikes attacks. GMO cassava is waiting to be delivered to the farmers only if the bill is passed.”
Kenya and Sudan have passed the GMO bill and has invested in maize and cotton on large scale production respectively. This will increase their exportation in quantity and income.
The development of the biotechnology and Bio safety framework began in 1997; the policy was approved in 2008 and was tabled in parliament in February 2013. The law only awaits approval from parliament since they were requested to consult the public in a month’s time.
The bill will propose a committee to review the GMOs substantially on an individual basis.
President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the National Biotechnology Laboratory at Kawanda in 2003 and officially opened Agro-Genetic Technologies (AGT) Tissue culture laboratories at Buloba in 2008.