The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda finally passed the Bill designed to provide a regulatory framework for the safe development and application of biotechnology in the country.
The Bill, formerly known as the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill 2012, is now renamed as the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill 2018. The President deferred to sign it as a law pending 12 issues that require modifications.
Among the issues raised by the President are the establishment of a number of gene banks and seed banks to preserve biodiversity. Vice Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Lawrence Akugizibwe said that “the Committee agreed with the President on the proposal to have a containment of Genetically Engineered Materials (GEMs) so that they do not mix with indigenous species by way of crossbreeding and pollination.” Furthermore, the committee agreed with the President that a GEMs developer is fully liable for any negative effects that might arise from the use of GEMs.