Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Growing Controversy Over GMO Bananas in Uganda

English: Bananas growing in a greenhouse in Ic...
Kiggundu works with the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), an Ugandan government agency developing genetically modified bananas.  The new plants are meant to be resistant to black sigatoka and banana bacterial wilt, which has been wiping out vast swaths of the country’s crop.

But the issue has created a firestorm among Ugandan activists, with many claiming genetically modified organisms would be dangerous to human health, the environment and the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

Giregon Olupot, a soil biophysicist at Kampala’s Makerere University, has been an outspoken critic of the technology.

“There are a range of options that risk to be wiped [out], just by this technology," said Olupot.  "With bananas, tissue culture has worked well to engineer healthy plants.  You then take these plants to a clean garden and maintain field hygiene.  Why are we not giving emphasis to that technology?” Read more >>
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