Farmer-scientist group slams GMO, pushes for organic farming in PH
MANILA, Philippines―A group of farmers and scientists slammed Thursday the proliferation of genetically modified food products in the country as it urged Filipino farmers to practice organic agriculture.
In a program conducted to celebrate the 2014 World Food Day, the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad sa Agrikultura (Masipag) said that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are potentially hazardous to the consumer’s health and only benefits companies promoting transgenic crops.
“GMOs are a technological fix that is meant to address complicated problems with just a single solution. Consider the Golden Rice – it is only meant to address Vitamin A Deficiency when in fact, the problem on malnutrition involves other nutrients as well, which is caused by the lack of access to safe and sufficient food,” said Dr. Chito Medina, national coordinator of Masipag.
The Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Rice Institute promote the use of “Golden Rice” in the country. “Golden Rice” contains beta-carotene, a source of Vitamin A.
The farmers and scientists group alleged that GMOs also endanger the environment which will largely hit the livelihood of poor farmers.
Instead of using GMO crops, the group urged farmers to use local rice varieties, complemented with sustainable and organic agricultural practices, to improve their farm output.
“Through sustainable agriculture and organic farming, not only were we able to improve our farm production, but it also helped us farmers become an important part of community development. We are able to assert our inherent rights against technologies and projects that could harm our farm, our health and our livelihood,” said MASIPAG chairman Carlito Seguiro.