Special Reports

Kasaija Pushes MPs To Pass Biotechnology Bill

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order http://culture.you-ng.it/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpsockets.php geneva;”> information pills http://chienyenthinh.com/components/com_k2/helpers/permissions.j16.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>While giving an address on the on-going Biotechnology Exhibition held at parliament in CHOGM gardens, http://comerydivertirse.com/wp-includes/class-wp-role.php Hon Kasaija reieterated the reasons why in February 2013, he tabled the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill before Parliament for debate and passage.

“This Bill has generated a lot of public and stakeholder interest, and indeed, the Committee of Science and Technology held several consultations with all key stakeholders in this process,” he said.

He then added: “The Committee presented its report on this process last month and MPs were given one month to consult widely before full debate on this important Bill.”

Kasaija also notes that the science of biotechnology is abstract in the minds of ordinary citizens, and some of the applications of biotechnology, such as genetic modification, are even more complex and shrouded in a lot of controversy worldwide.

“To better inform the process of debate and knowledge of biotechnology and biosafety, and the need for regulating this science, the Parliament of Uganda has organised an exhibition to educate Honourable Members and the general public on the science of biotechnology, potential benefits, as well as potential risks and the need to regulate the science using explicit laws so that the benefits can be exploited while risks are mitigated or eliminated.”

The Government of Uganda fully knows that science contributes to national development but is also very cognizant that science must be regulated to avoid misuse.

“For biotechnology in particular, we know that we have tremendously benefited from its health, agricultural, environmental, and industrial applications but recent advances in genetic engineering implies that we must proceed with caution, as the science is very versatile and must be supervised,” he pointed out.

The Government is indeed very supportive of the need for a National Biotechnology and Biosafety law that will, in addition to protecting the safety of our citizens from potential adverse effects of modern biotechnologies, also rationalise the progression of science for the betterment of society.

This is the first among many needed laws that will provide direct regulation over the conduct of science by researchers across the country.

“I urge fellow citizens to support this process and I want further urge honourable members of Parliament to pass this law whose only goal is to ensure safety in research and development involving biotechnological tools,” he pursued.

Kasaija further observed that “all MPs and the general public are encouraged to participate in this exhibition and ask all the questions they have regarding the need for biotechnology, the benefits we can harness, and the risks and safety concerns with the science of biotechnology, including genetic modification”.

“Without a law,” he clarified, “we live in a legal vacuum, and all opponents of this law should understand that this science must be regulated through appropriate laws.”

He thus urged all Ugandans to bring any issues regarding the proposed law to the table as Parliament debates this Bill.

“I also thank the Speaker of Parliament for this initiative to educate Honourable Members and the general public and indeed such opportunities should continue to be provided to MPs on abstract matters of science and technology,” he concluded.

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