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Uganda on track to pass ‘biotech bill’ that should pave way for GMO crop commercialization

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Uganda’s long-awaited national Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill was delayed again yesterday, but is likely to be passed next Tuesday [Oct. 3], according to the nation’s Minister of Science Technology and Innovation.

The bill, which would create a process for the nation to commercialize and cultivate genetically engineered crops, was scheduled for action by Parliament yesterday. But Science Technology and Innovation Minister Elioda Tumwesigye requested a delay, citing lack of readiness on his part. The speaker of the Parliament yielded to his request.

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Uganda Science Technology and Innovation Minister Elioda Tumwesigye. (Photo by Isaac Ongu)

Despite the absence of a biosafety law, Uganda follows only South Africa in the number of Confined Field Trials conducted to test the viability of GE crops in Africa. The ongoing trials include virus resistance in cassava; insect resistance in maize; herbicide tolerance in soybean; late blight resistance in potato; nitrogen efficiency, water efficiency and salt tolerance in rice; wilt resistance in banana; beta carotene enhancement in banana; and black sigatoka resistance in banana. Most biotech research projects are waiting for the law to carry out the final trials before applying to the National Biosafety Committee for environmental release and commercialization.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Uganda likely to pass its Biotech Bill next week

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