Cebu farmers tell gov’t not to sell Golden Rice
Don’t approve a proposal to commercialize Golden Rice.
This is the call of the 50 farmers in Cebu who signed the petition yesterday asking the government to stop the approval of the the genetically-modified organism (GMO) variety of rice.
Greenpeace Philippines led the petition signing yesterday during the Conference on the Danger of GMOs to Health, Farmers, Environment and Food Security held at the University of Cebu Banilad campus organized by Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (Sibat).
The call was made as Golden Rice is now being reviewed for commercialization by the government.
Greenpeace said it didn’t want what happened to the Bt Corn, a genetically modified corn, which was commercialized since 2002.
The petition followed the farmer-scientists groups’ action to stop the Bt Talong in their Writ of Kalikasan case which they won at the Court of Appeals last April. The court ruled that the Bt Talong field trials posed a threat to environmental health, to the health of the consumers and to the farmers.
BT TALONG CASE
The CA ordered the field trials to be permanently stopped and was further ruled irreversible last April after respondents filed for a motion for reconsideration.
“Bt Talong is an eggplant genetically modified to produce toxin to combat the Fruit and Shoot Borer (FSB). It stands for Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil bacteria whose genes are inserted to the eggplant to produce toxins. These are simply toxins that can cause problems to human beings and the environment as it can contaminate other varieties,” said Danny Ocampo, Greenpeace Philippines sustainable agriculture campaign officer.
Ocampo added that the government is also looking at GMOs for papaya, sweet potato, tomato.
“If you look at this, do we have shortage for sweet potato (camote)? Why are they looking at GMOs. There are many other ways to solve issues like in the GMO rice Golden Rice which they said should solve the Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD), VAD can be solved by supplement capsules or natural means like Malunggay,” Ocampo said.
Roberto Bajenting of Cebu Coalition for Food Security encouraged farmers to practice sustainable farming instead of turning to GMOs to achieve food security.
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