Women want Biosafety law passed
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.