Women want Biosafety law passed

East African Business Week - - NEWS - BY SA­MUEL NABWIISO

NACRRI’S Di­rec­tor- Dr. God­frey Asea, noted that NACRRI was us­ing ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing to ad­dress spe­cific chal­lenges where other known meth­ods have hith­erto fallen short

WAKISO----UGANDA ---------Fe­male Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, un­der their um­brella body- Uganda Women Par­lia­men­tary As­so­ci­a­tion (UWOPA) have called for the im­me­di­ate pass­ing of the Na­tional Biotech­nol­ogy and Biosafety Bill 2012 into law, to reg­u­late biotech­nol­ogy prod­ucts that are de­vel­oped in and/or im­ported into Uganda.

UWOPA Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber Mar­garet Baba Diri re­vealed that UWOPA mem­bers were con­cerned that the Bill and biotech pro­cesses such as ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing were marred in con­tro­versy in the pub­lic space and yet such tech­nol­ogy can boost food pro­duc­tion. “As women, we are the pro­duc­ers of food and we are con­cerned that it is tak­ing long to pass the Bill be­cause of all the con­tro­versy. We have come to Na­mu­longe to get the truth so that we can sup­port the Bill from an in­formed po­si­tion”, said Baba Diri, Woman MP for Koboko Dis­trict The leg­is­la­tor lashed out at fel­low parliamentarians for fail­ing to give their con­stituents the right in­for­ma­tion about ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing be­cause they refuse to en­gage with the re­searchers and learn about biotech and how ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing can em­power their peo­ple. An­other UWOPA leg­is­la­tor and also Woman mem­ber for Kaber­maido Dis­trict, (east­ern Uganda ) Veron­ica Bichetero thanked NACRRI and part­ners for dis­sem­i­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion about biotech­nol­ogy and biosafety, urg­ing greater out­reach to teach Ugan­dans about the tech­nol­ogy and its pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tion to the coun­try Econ­omy she said the 10th “Par­lia­ment should pass the bill for the good of the coun­try be­cause Uganda’s neigh­bor such as Kenya has al­ready passed the bill into law,” she claimed. Uganda Biotech­nol­ogy In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter co­or­di­na­tor, Dr. Bar­bara Zawedde, re­vealed to the MPS that the cur­rent biotech­nol­ogy and biosafety pol­icy only al­lows sci­en­tists to do re­search on GMOS; but the law will ex­tend the life­line of this re- search by al­low­ing for re­lease of GM crops to farm­ers. NACRRI’S Di­rec­tor- Dr. God­frey Asea, noted that NACRRI was us­ing ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing to ad­dress spe­cific chal­lenges where other known meth­ods have hith­erto fallen short. How­ever, us­ing ge­netic en­gi­neer­ing, re­searchers at Na­mu­longe have de­vel­oped dis­ease re­sis­tant va­ri­eties which can­not be de­stroyed by the virus.

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