Group claims GMOs failed to deliver promised benefits
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—A group of farmers and scientists claimed that the production of genetically-modified (GM) corn fell short of its promise to increase yield and lower farming costs, a decade after genetically-engineered crops were first introduced in the Philippines.
In a 24-minute documentary shot in various locations, farmers recounted the negative effects of planting the GM corn, a general term used for corn breeds whose gene pool was altered to make the plant herbicide-tolerant.
According to the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (Masipag), a group promoting sustainable and organic farming, 685,317 hectares of Philippines’ agricultural land were planted with GM corn since its commercialization was approved by the government in 2003.
“Every year the amount of inputs being used increases. For an 18-kilo (bag) of seeds that is good for one hectare, I (used to) use only 4 to 5 bags of fertilizers. (But) today for the same amount of seeds, I use 12 to 15 bags of fertilizers,” said farmer Marlon Malong from Banaban, Pangasinan province.
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