This bill aims to establish a regulatory framework and institutions for the safe development and application of biotechnology, specifically in reference to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The bill establishes a single competent national authority on issues of biosafety as well as national and institutional biosafety committees. The bill was introduced in 2012, and in March 2013, the Ugandan Committee on Science and Technology tabled the bill for public hearing.
Uganda ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993 and subsequently ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) in 2001. The CPB required each party to the CBD to implement a national legal framework for the safe development and commercialization of GMOs or Living Modified Organisms (LMOs). Uganda introduced this bill to satisfy that requirement and also ensure that the country could safely continue to use emerging biotechnologies to modernize its agricultural system and enhance its industrialization efforts. The bill may be of interest to legislative leaders in other countries seeking to implement similar national legislation on biotechnology and biosafety, especially leaders in low to middle income countries. Additionally, the 2015 article “Public Submissions on the Uganda National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012 Reveal Potential Way Forward for Uganda Legislators to Pass the Bill” in _Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology _may provide useful context for legislators particularly interested in the public discourse around this bill, although the article is not included in the library as of September 2021.