Uganda urgently needs a Law on Bio-safety & Biotechnology.
The executive director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Dr Tom Okurut wants the Biosafety and Biotechnology bill 2012 (famously referred to as GMO bill) swiftly passed in its current form.
Dr Tom Okurut has told reporters in Kampala that what is very important is that Uganda must have a law on Biotechnology and Biosafety not the diversionary debate by some anti GMO activists and politicians for selfish reasons.
“We can’t close-up or refuse Biotechnology as some people are proposing, No because that technology is more advanced. In fact biotechnology is a major necessity in development, it has been used elsewhere and all over the world so who is Uganda to operate in isolation” says NEMA boss.
He has explained that Genetically Modified Organisms are already being used in Uganda in form of Vaccines, some Foods sold in supermarkets among others adding that what is important is to ensure Safe through a legislation.
“Actually I am really supporting that the Biosafety bill in parliament be passed the way it is because it is to protect us from any eventualities that might be in case of wrong application of Biotechnology on use of GMO’s” adds Dr Tom Okurut.
This while speaking to journalists at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala during a stakeholder’s dialogue to review the proposed necessary amendments in the national Environment management policy 1994.
On May 05, 2015 the Mp’s on the Ruling party NRM caucus took a bold step and approved this bill after they harmonized their initially varying opinions on the what then were viewed as contentious clauses in the bill.
By Joshua Mutale