A section of lawmakers from Uganda’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party have pledged to fight attempts to lift the ban on genetically modified crops.
These included; former Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo who represents Bufumbira East South West Constituency, Dr. Emmanuel Otiam Otaala (Budama South West) and Amudat District MP, Betty Chelain Louke.
This follows Kenya’s decision last week to lift a decade-long ban on GMOs. Proponents say it will help address the food insecurity issues the country is currently facing due to extreme drought.
Speaking to parliamentary reporters yesterday, Buturo claimed the same was being sold to authorities in Kampala in the hope that it would inform a policy reversal.
“Some of our leaders and scientists are actually greedy and selfish, they have been given money and so they are now on the side of those who preach that we should allow genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The idea that you should allowing a situation to rob you of your independence and sovereignty because you have been given money is a very treacherous and patriotic thing that is really not acceptable,” he alleged.
“Many of these scientists are in the pay of those who are at the origin of GMOs. They receive salaries, are funded, receive grants, training and, unsurprisingly, they are now on their way to persuading Ugandans to accept a dire GMO situation,” Buturo added.
President Yoweri Museveni has twice, 2017 and 2019; refused to sign the Genetic Engineering Regulation Bill citing controversial issues.
In a July 22, 2019 letter to Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, then Speaker of Parliament, Museveni noted “the issue of GMOs and the genetic modification of our seeds, our livestock and now I hear GMO mosquitoes, affects not only the science, but agriculture, ecology, food and national security and even the sovereignty of our nation. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we proceed with caution and include the necessary safeguards in this law.