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January 15th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

Jonan Twinamatsiko, a recent graduate of biotechnology from Makerere University in Uganda, belongs to a group of young people facing rising unemployment. A Uganda youth survey published by Aga Khan University in 2016 shows 80 percent of Ugandans are under age 35, and 52 percent of that group is unemployed. Jonan had hoped that by pursuing a degree in biotechnology, he would avoid joining that group.

But midway through his studies, he began to understand the controversies surrounding biotechnology, a discipline that was meant to guarantee him a “future” and deliver glory to his parents in the countryside who practiced agriculture to put him through school.

While many of his classmates resorted to endless worries, Jonan decided to work in defense of biotechnology. He actively challenges what he says are relentless fear-mongering campaigns by anti-GMO groups, many of them based in Europe and with ties to American environmental groups, hyping fake environmental and health hazards of new agricultural technologies. Read more