Tuesday, October 6, 2015

As disease threatens Uganda’s banana crop, ActionAid and anti-GMO groups fan fears

Here are more details on the banana crisis in Africa.

The current resistant transgenic lines have already been tested in trials over three generations and the resistance have not broken down. What is left, aside further safety tests, is to subject these crops to various ecological conditions across the country to select the best lines for farmers. Uganda lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern the processes beyond the trials; the existing law only allows for research. The Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill that the activists have been fighting to block would, if passed, establish a competent authority to oversee the research and deregulation process and path the way to commercialization. Without the law these resistant varieties will remain in laboratories rather than in fields, and farmers and the public will be helpless to confront the spread of the disease that is wiping away their main source of food.

ActionAid has led the demonization campaigns. After several embarrassing investigations into its anti-GMO propaganda efforts, the NGO “repentened” for propagating non-factual information about GMOs, but then continued its campaign covertly. With ActionAid in retreat, the majority party in Uganda’s parliament endorsed the Biosafety Bill, and endorsements followed from a good number of legislators on the minority side. The activists are not doing well either in Tanzania. When Tanzanian ministers and legislators visited Uganda’s research facilities, they returned and amended its formerly prohibitive law to allow research to be conducted without undue encumbrances.
 The anti-GMO crowd is saying "Fuck the little guy.  Doesn't he have cake to eat?"

No comments:

Post a Comment