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Uganda starts new GMO trials

Uganda has initiated “historic” trials of genetically modified crops, newswire SciDev reports. They include trials of GM brown streak virus-resistant cassava, Xanthomonas bacteria-resistant bananas, and Monsanto’s insect-resistant/glyphosate-tolerant Bollgard/Roundup Ready cotton. The Ugandan authorities gave the go-ahead for the GM cassava trials in July ( Agrow No 597, p 27). The trials started in September. Drought-tolerant maize is also undergoing trials (see this issue). The trials indicate that Uganda’s scientific community has built capacity in molecular biology and convinced the national biosafety committee that it can adhere to international guidelines on GMOs, SciDev reports, citing committee vice-chair Yona Baguma. Uganda has trialled GM cassava and cotton over the past two years, after it adopted biosafety legislation in 2008 ( Agrow No 541, p 22).

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