A section of Civil Society Organizations has welcomed President Museveni’s refusal to assent to the National Biotechnology and Bio-safety Bill, 2012.
In his latest objection to the Bill, the
President expressed disappointment that many of the critical issues he had
raised in the earlier objection (December 2017) had not been fully addressed in
the revised Bill.
“The issue of GMOs and genetic modification of our seeds, livestock and now, I hear GMO mosquitoes, touches not only on science, but agriculture, ecology, food and national security and indeed the sovereignty of our nation. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we proceed with caution and include the necessary safeguards in this law,” Museveni stated.
In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the President proposed that the Bill is problematic because it does not indicate that the inventor of genetic materials must be held liable for any harm that their products could cause to community.
The President further recommended that the proposed law should address the matter of mixing GMO materials and non-GMO seed materials.
By this, Mr Museveni wants parliament to clearly spell out isolation measures for greenhouses and isolation distance applicable for persons or organizations involved in genetic material research and production.
A Wednesday joint statement that was presented by Ms Barbara Ntambirweki, a research fellow under the Trade, Innovations and Biotechnology Policy Programme at ACODE, says that Parliament should be considerate of the impact of GMO materials on Uganda’s farming system.