British environmentalist and author
The debate on GMOs has pitted scientists and activists supportive of the biotech bill against critics, who say that GMOs are not the solution to hunger and therefore should not be allowed into
"To those who are not convinced, let's have a peaceful coexistence because having GMOs will not wipe out all the other seeds; organic seeds and GMOs can co exist. Bio tech is not the solution to every single problem but we must be pro-choice. Farmers who want traditional varieties should have their rights and those who want high yielding GMO seeds should have the right to plant them. I don't know any pro-GMO scientist who goes out in the night and uproots organic crops," Lynas said.
He was speaking at a recent public debate at
Some activists say that these GMO seeds are dangerous, arguing that they pose health risks to humans and the environment. They believe that patent rights given to seed companies like
The bill states that 'a person shall not engage in research or general release of GMOs without approval under the law and the penalty for a defaulter is a fine not exceeding Shs 960,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 24 months or both.'
Peasant farmers argue that plants and animals cannot be manufactured in a laboratory or patented because they are natural and should remain so. They say that GMOs place seeds at the centre of the fight for food sovereignty and will lead to loss of indigenous knowledge on seed systems and practices.
"We need to respect and retain traditional farming practices created by our ancestors. Agriculture is more about local growth, people's livelihoods and nourishment using several types of food and not just one food," says Dr Giregon Olupot, from the department of Agriculture.
Most Popular Stories
- 15 Myths That Could Ruin Your Hispanic Ad Campaign
- AIG to Create 230 Jobs in Charlotte
- General Motors Names Mary Barra as First Female CEO
- Bitcoin Clones Lurch Onto Financial Scene
- Russia Says Nyet to Canada North Pole Claim
- Bipartisan Negotiators Reach Modest Budget Agreement
- Scripps Shares Rise on Reported Bid Talks
- Justin Bieber Visits Typhoon Victims, Plays Concert
- Senate Dems Move Forward With Obama Nominees
- New Obama Aide to Focus on Climate Change