KAMPALA – February 8, 2018 – The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) has held the third annual Biosafety Forum themed: Building trust and confidence in biosafety regulation.
The forum held on February 8 -9, 2018 at Hotel Africana brought together members of the National Biosafety Committee (NBC), policymakers and regulators. Dr. Elida Tumwesigye the Minister for science, technology, and innovation, while officiating at the Forum acknowledged the public’s continued concern with GMO’s midst available evidence of their safety.
“Trust in the regulatory system is absolutely essential for people to feel safe and satisfied that their interests are properly taken care of. It is more than 30 years now since genetic modification technologies were developed, however, there is still ongoing debate about the perceived risk of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our country, region and around the world.” Dr. Elioda said in a speech read on his behalf by the Dr.Theresa Sengooba the Chairperson of the UNCST Board.
The biosafety forum commenced in 2016 and has been held annually ever since as a platform for engagement and interaction among members of the NBC, Institutional Biosafety Committees, scientists, and policymakers to discuss advance in genetic engineering.
Dr. Peter Ndemere, the UNCST Executive Secretary observed that Uganda is among the most active countries on the continent conducting field trials on GMO crops.
“The experiments are conducted within the National Agricultural Research Organisation’s institutes, which are also the primary applicants. The sites for the experiments include Serere, Kasese, Kabale, and Wakiso (Kawanda and Namulonge).” Dr. Ndemere
This year, the keynote address titled: The evolving global perspective and trends of modern Risk Assessment of Biotechnology products; What are the challenges, lessons for the future for Africa? was delivered by Dr. Martin Lema from the Directorate of Biotechnology, Ministry of Agro-Industry, Argentina.
The forum was held in partnership with Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS), African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)