Consult on GMOs, government told

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Posted  Wednesday, December 25  2013 at  02:00


The Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), has asked the government to consult widely before passing the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill to avert its far-reaching implications.

In his Christmas message yesterday, UJCC chairperson, also Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, said whereas the Bill seeks to regulate research, development and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), MPs need to consult the electorates.

“We are currently having dialogue on the Bill with a cross-section of experts and will soon be in position to pronounce ourselves on the matter,” Archbishop Ntagali said. “In the meantime, the government should consult as widely as possible on the Bill which may have far reaching implications is passed without taking all necessary precautions,” he added.

The Bill, a private members’ initiative, is before the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee for deliberation. It was initiated by the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee and tabled before Parliament by Mr Dennis Hamson Obua (Ajuri County), the chairperson of the committee.

Several MPs and lawmakers have backed the Bill arguing it will regulate the use of modern technology and promote research in the country. However, sections of the public have noted the negative implications of genetically modified products, like cost of seeds pushing up and the effects of its products.

The archbishop also decried the slow process by the government in curbing corruption, which has resulted in loss of billions and deprived many Ugandans of vital services. He also appealed for dialogue between the warring factions in South Sudan as means of ending the growing crisis that has left several people dead.