Wednesday May 6 2015

NRM caucus backs GMOs

By NELSON WESONGA

PARLIAMENT. The ruling NRM party has whipped its members into line to support the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill that will, among others, give way to the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
During a parliamentary caucus meeting on Monday, NRM leaders told their members that Uganda should “regulate biotechnology, which is with us”.
This paves the way for the Bill’s reintroduction on Parliament’s Order Paper, its debate and passage in a House where the NRM has a 67 per cent majority.
Until Monday, members had differed over the title of the Bill and the role of the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology.
Some NRM members had wanted the title of the Bill to include the words “genetically modified organisms (GMOs)”.
That way, they argued it would address concerns by a section of the public that the Bill would be used to smuggle GMOs into the country.
Yet other members wanted a different agency established to regulate biotechnology in Uganda.
Yesterday, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, the NRM chief whip, told journalists at Parliament that “the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill was harmonised [Monday] by the caucus”.
“What remains is to move together to the floor of Parliament and pass this important bill into law,” she said.

nwesonga@ug.nationmedia.com.

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