THIS WEEK: Impasse over GMO Bill
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The nation’s scientists are embroiled in arguments for and against the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012 commonly known as the GMO Bill.
Last month, President Museveni rejected the bill and wrote a letter to the Speaker saying a number of issues in the bill must first be clarified.
These included its title, patent rights of indigenous farmers and sanctions for scientists who mix GMOs with indigenous crops and animals.
The president offered his thoughts: “some crops and livestock with unique genetic configuration like millet, sorghum, beans, Ankole cattle, Ugandan chicken, enkoromoijo cattle, which have a specific genetic makeup which our people have developed for millennia through selection (kutorana for seeds, kubikira (selecting good bulls), enimi or empaya (he-goats).”
He added, “to be on the safe side, GMO seeds should never be randomly mixed with our indigenous seeds just in case they turn out to have a problem.” Museveni’s letter provoked a wave of arguments for those backing the bill, and their counter arguments.