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2-Plants: GMOs threatening seed industry in Uganda



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TITLE:  GMOs threatening seed industry
SOURCE: New Vision, Uganda, by Ronald Kalyango
        http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/220/478443
DATE:   27 Jan 2006

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GMOs threatening seed industry

STAKEHOLDERS of the Centre for Development Initiatives (CDI) of the
African Biodiversity Network of South Africa have expressed concern
about the likely extinction of the indigenous seeds if the country
adopts Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). "There is a risk of
contaminating our indigenous crops from fields planted with GMOs through
cross-pollination. We may lose our indigenous seed security through
contamination with GMO genes," said Bridget Nabikolo, the CDI programme
coordinator. She was recently speaking to reporters at their offices in
Kamwokya, Kampala. Nabikolo said GMOs would bring high costs to farmers
because the seeds are patented by the corporations that sell them.
"Patented seeds mean that seed saving is forbidden and we must buy new
seeds each season," she said. Many small-scale farmers, will be unable
to bear the additional cost of buying expensive patented seed each
season," added Nabikolo. She said the likely fear of contaminating our
agriculture and seed with GM0s would lead to loss of export markets to
countries that have already rejected GM foods. Nabikolo added that this
would lead to the perpetual enslavement of small farmers by corporations
that is to say by controlling all the seed and forcing us to buy on
their terms, season upon season. GMOs do not address the real problems
of food insecurity in Uganda. "GMO seeds will cause total dependence of
the farmer on the corporations. If we are forced to buy seed every
season, and lose our seed saving practices and seed heritage, we will
lose ownership, sovereignty, independence and our dignity. We will have
no choice over our seed and be forced to accept only what is on the
market," she added.


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