Viewpoint: Uganda’s promising GMO crops blocked by anti-science NGOs

| | May 7, 2018
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Image credit: Lominda Afedraru/Daily Monitor
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Though Uganda’s scientists, working with international partners, have now developed better staple crops, their hands have been tied by the success of an anti-GMO fear-mongering campaign run by the powerful Non-Government Organisation (NGO) lobby in Kampala.

Several promising innovations have been caught in the political logjam.

WEMA maize and the disease-resistant cassava, banana and potato crops will stay behind fences for the foreseeable future, because Uganda’s political situation has become more anti-science due to pressure from activist groups based in the capital.

These NGOs have fought long and hard to block these improved crops, spreading utterly false scary stories that “GMOs cause cancer and infertility,”’ and persuading politicians — including the country’s president — that better crops will somehow magically threaten or eliminate traditional and indigenous varieties.

The deteriorating political situation is already having predictable knock-on effects with food insecurity, environmental destruction and higher use of chemicals.

Uganda is a country with much promise, but banning science and innovation is surely not the way to make the most of it.

Read full, original post: Anti-GMO activism is hindering Uganda’s scientific progress

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