Biotech Updates

Researchers Conduct Historic Trials on GM Crops in Uganda

October 8, 2010

Ugandan researchers are conducting field trials of various genetically modified (GM) crops after the recent approvals issued by the Uganda National Biosafety Committee. The scientists are developing both GM and conventional maize varieties with tolerance to drought caused by climate change. They will also test GM cassava with resistance to cassava brown streak virus, which destroys the starchy root crop in eastern and central Africa. GM bananas with resistance to Xanthomonas bacterial infections and Bt cotton are also part of the lineup.

According to Yona Baguma, vice chairman of the Biosafety Committee, the approvals which were issued in July and followed by planting that started in September and continues until November are "historic". "They are clear signals that Uganda's scientific community has built capacity in molecular biology and convinced the committee it can adhere to national and international guidelines on GM organisms," he said.

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