THIS WEEK: Museveni declines to sign GMO bill, to be re-tabled
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Bio technology and biosafety bill tabled in 2012 is set to be shelved longer after the President refused to sign it into law. The bill that came to be commonly known as the GMO bill will now be retabled by the Minister for Science and Technology Elioda Tumwesigye after the president sent it back to parliament noting that it’s not clear in its current form.
The bill seeks to provide a regulatory framework that facilitates the safe development and application of biotechnology, research, development and release of genetically modified organisms but Museveni says there is need for clarity on its title, patent rights for indigenous farmers and sanctions on scientists who mix GMOs with indigenous breeds. For instance he says he needs to understand some of the clauses for instance he wonders why they plan to have GMO materials in the irrigated areas of Mubuku Irrigation scheme.
On Jan.10, deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah called for the re-tabling of the bill giving the committee two weeks to analyze it and give a report to parliament. As this happens however, scientists who support the bill warn that the country risks being exposed to unregulated GMOs with delays in putting in place a law.