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Experts want law on modified foods

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th October 2008 03:00 AM

EXPERTS have called for a law to regulate genetically modified organisms.

EXPERTS have called for a law to regulate genetically modified organisms.

By Gerald Tenywa

EXPERTS have called for a law to regulate genetically modified organisms.

Arthur Makara, the executive director of Science for Development, said the law would address bio-safety concerns. “The law would help in case there are violations and address any risks,” he told participants at a workshop held at Shanghai Restaurant in Kampala last week.

Makara said Uganda was a leader in bio-technology in eastern Africa and that other countries in the region were also working on bio-safety policies.

Genetically modified organisms contain genes, which are artificially manipulated to produce high yields and crops that are resistant to disease.

Dr. Yona Baguma, from the National Crops Resources Research Institute, said through bio-technology, superior crops that can resist diseases threatening to wipe out bananas can be produced.

“It would be difficult to achieve food security without bio-technology since diseases are threatening to wipe out most food crops yet the human population is increasing.

Baguma said bio-technological research on bananas was being carried out at the Kawanda Research Station, and that studies on cotton and cassava were underway.

He cited clonal coffee, which yields five times as much as the traditional coffee as a breakthrough of biotechnology. This, he said, had increased production and boosted farmers income.

He commended President Yoweri Museveni for supporting bio-technology.

“Museveni is a keen listener and asks many questions so that he can understand.”

Museveni, while presiding over a multi-million bio-tech laboratory three years ago, supported debate on genetically modified organisms.

He also cleared the importation of non-contestable forms of genetically modified organisms such as processed foods.

Experts want law on modified foods

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