Brazilian Professor Tips Uganda On Genetically Modified Foods

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In short
Professor, Andrade says Uganda is duty-bound to put in place a law to regulate importation and trade in GMOs even when some people dont want the technology.

A Brazilian Professor, Paulo Paes de Andrade has asked Uganda to take cautious step towards regulating the introduction and cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Professor, Andrade who has been in Uganda to share the Brazilian experience with Genetically Modified Organisms says the adoption of GMOs can increase farmer profits.

Brazil is one of the top three countries with Genetically Modified Organisms crops under cultivation. It has GMO crops cultivated on over 42 million hectares of land.

Brazil has become one of the top destinations for Ugandan officials seeking to learn from its experience.  A delegation of members of Parliament of Uganda is expected to visit Brazil- mid- February as Parliament plans to consider the Biotechnology Bill 2012.

Uganda is conducting several GMO trials in Namulonge, Kawanda, Kasese, and Serere districts as Scientists, traders and politicians push government to enact the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012.

Paulo Paes de Andrade, a member of the Brazilian Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) says trade in GMO crops has become one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for his country.

////Cue In "Most profits arriving

Cue Out…… which is a lost of money" ////

He says without GM crops, Brazil's revenue from agriculture would be twenty percent or less. He explains that GM technologies allow maximum profits and it is very competitive in terms of the world market.

Asked why Uganda needs to adopt a regulatory framework for genetically modified organisms, Professor Andrade explained that Uganda is under the Cartagena Protocol required to put in place law to protect the country's biodiversity.

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Uganda is a party to the Cartagena Protocol having ratified it in 2001.

The protocol requires each party to take necessary and appropriate legal, administrative and other measures to implement obligations concerning genetically modified organisms. 

At the time of the drafting of the Cartagena Protocol in the mid-1990s, activists in America and Europe had concerns that GM crops could in some way be a threat to their biodiversity.

That's still the position of many activist groups or opponents of GMOs, although the wider scientific community does not see a unique biodiversity problem.

Professor Andrade says in Brazil like many countries originally resisted Genetically Modified Organisms but citizens there listened to and accepted the explanation by scientists about the need to have the GMO crops and the need for regulation.

Now the country has wide cultivation of GM crops like Maize, herbicide-tolerant Soya bean and cotton among others. The GMOs have become part of almost every Brazilian's source food and nutrition according to Professor Andrade.

/// Cue In "Obliviously there was… 

Cue out …we don't mind." ////

That is Paulo Paes de Andrade, a member of the Brazilian Technical Commission on Bio-safety (CTNBio).

He says though Brazil is much larger than Uganda, it can be a suitable example for Uganda to learn from in terms of adoption and regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms.