Invitation to Participate in a Public Debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012
Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), are organizing a Public Debate to discuss Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and The Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012. The debate will take place on Thursday 18th July 2013, starting at 2.00 pm in Makerere University Main Hall.
As you may already know the Parliament of Uganda is currently debating (and is on the verge of passing) the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012. This bill is aimed at, among other things, providing a legal framework for the development, distribution and use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Uganda. The bill has been developed to accommodate and provide for scientific advancements in the improvement of crop varieties, reduction of diseases and enhancement of crop production. It is however known that GMOs must be produced and used in a well-regulated environment. It is therefore important that two issues are well discussed and understood by the public before this bill is passed into law: the good and bad of GMOs on one hand and the robustness of the draft bill in protecting Ugandans and their environment on the other.
The debate will also provide a forum for participants to discuss the key questions:
• Is the proposed Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012 drafted to please foreign interests or drive the agenda of Ugandans?
• What therefore does responsible use and application of biotechnology mean to you?
• Does the bill sufficiently protect us against selfish and greedy private interests?
• Could it be true that people opposed to elements of it are just uninformed and enemies of application of biotechnology for community and national development or could they actually be patriotic Ugandans who are working to protect our heritage and the future of Uganda’s children and their land?
As a result, a communiqué will be developed and sent to Parliament and other actors to guide the process of discussing the said Bill.
All are welcome