Last November, the National Agricultural Research Organization (Naro) took concrete steps towards beating off any opposition to the draft bio-technology and bio-safety legislation, commonly referred to as GMO Bill, The Observer has learnt.
Naro wrote to the NGO board complaining about several non-governmental organisations and civil society groups opposed to the bill. The Observer has learnt that many critical NGOs risk being de-registered following Naro’s letter. Naro also complained to Makerere University about some of its lecturers, who had taken to demonizing the bill.
The activists, working under a loose alliance named Food Rights Alliance, are behind a media campaign against the bill now before Parliament. Promoters of the bill want government to block the NGOs’ “illegal acts.”
The Naro letter, dated November 8, 2013, follows an earlier one, of May 17, 2013, by the Uganda Bio-technology and Bio-safety consortium. This particular letter, addressed to Makerere University Vice Chancellor John Ddumba-Ssentamu, urged him to act on the staff opposed to the bill. The consortium singled out Dr Giregon Olupot, a soil scientist, for his fierce opposition to the bill.
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