A nipa hut quitely sits amidst fields of organic rice standing witnessing hardwork and persistence of the farmers in Sitio Canaan, Barangay Crossing, Magallon, Negros Occidental. © Greenpeace/Gigie Cruz-Sy

Only a couple of decades ago, genetically modified organisms (GMO) would have been something out of science fiction. In the not so distant past, we never imagined we would find on our dinner tables strawberries with fish genes, corn with bacterial genes, and soybeans with built-in herbicides. Little did we know that such scenes would turn into reality in a dizzyingly short period of time. But this is now part of today's reality.

In the natural world, organisms develop specific desirable traits through evolution. This is usually a very slow process and driven by natural laws---not by human beings. Typically, an organism develops a color that will camouflage it from potential predators through hundreds or thousands of years of selection and adaptation. And, in the natural world, species never breed with unrelated species.

Greenpeace activists dressed to symbolize the "bul-ul", a traditional Ifugao rice guardian, carried out a protest at the Department of Agriculture in Quezon City. © Greenpeace / Joseph Agcaoili

With the advent of genetic engineering, the natural barriers between species have been broken down. Today, different species can be genetically manipulated to give rise to totally new organisms, presumably with a human-desired trait. Today, through human intervention, a fish can contain genes from a plant, and a plant can be 'shot' with genes from a bacterium. The possibilities for novel organisms are endless with this technology. They are also unpredictable and frightening.

Greenpeace is in the forefront of the campaign to oppose the release of GMOs into the environment. Greenpeace insists that because the technology is very new and imprecise, the potential ill effects on public health and on the environment are still widely unknown. The truth is no one knows for sure how these new man-made creations will affect life on planet Earth. Therefore, because there is still no scientific consensus as to long-term impact, and in accordance with the precautionary principle, it is best that no releases of GMOs into the environment be allowed.

This technology must be approached with great caution and more study! Releasing GMOs into the environment could have lasting effects that we cannot yet even imagine.

The latest updates

 

Karla Rey, translator of 'Paano Kumain ng Kulay?'

Blog entry by Tricia Aquino | November 15, 2018

When Karla Rey was a child, she would spend weekends in her grandmother's backyard, tending to the garden, propagating cuttings, and picking fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. Mangoes, bananas, star apples, guavas, aratilis, makopa,...

Mabi David, author of 'Paano Kumain ng Kulay?'

Blog entry by Tricia Aquino | November 13, 2018

What does red taste like? How about green, yellow, and blue?  Certified plant-based cook and published writer Mabi David offers these fanciful questions to think about in her new children's book,  Paano Kumain ng Kulay? ...

Global survey reveals FMCG companies’ contribution to plastic pollution crisis

Press release | October 23, 2018 at 14:23

Jakarta, Indonesia, 23 October 2018 - Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) corporations are a predominant force behind the throwaway economic model driving the plastic pollution crisis, according to a comprehensive sector survey Greenpeace...

Exxon, Shell, Chevron face inquiry hearing for human rights violations in New York

Press release | September 28, 2018 at 1:36

New York, 27 September 2018 - An inquiry hearing on 47 multinational corporations including Exxon, Shell, and Chevron for their possible responsibility in violating the human rights of Filipino citizens, by knowingly creating climate risks...

Our farmers in the age of climate change

Blog entry by Grace Duran-Cabus | September 22, 2018

It was September 12, 2018, when I heard the news of Typhoon Mangkhut heading for the Philippines. News outlets were saying it was comparable to Haiyan.  Watching the steady coverage, I was worried about how the Philippines would be...

Greenpeace: 11th hour for the climate, it’s time for leadership to truly emerge

Press release | September 15, 2018 at 14:28

Manila / San Francisco, 14 September 2018 - Typhoon Mangkhut, one of the strongest storms of the year, is forecast to hit the north of the Philippines by the weekend before threatening Hong Kong and Macau. In the Atlantic, Hurricane Florence made...

“Food crisis is result of lack of government direction” -- Fisherfolk, farmers and...

Press release | September 13, 2018 at 14:00

QUEZON CITY, 13 September 2018 --- Government needs a coordinated plan in place to ensure the country’s food and nutrition security. This was the recurring theme in the presentations and arguments during the roundtable discussions held today to...

Four reasons why communities are beating corporate climate polluters

Blog entry by Desiree Llanos Dee | August 31, 2018

We’re at the critical halfway point in the hearing for the National Inquiry of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) into the responsibility of the largest oil, gas, and coal companies for climate change impacts on the human rights of...

How Plant-based Do You Want Your Diet to Be? Here Are Some Options

Blog entry by Patricia Aquino | August 11, 2018

Filipinos are consuming more meat, and less fruits and vegetables, today. At the same time, more of them are becoming obese and falling ill to heart diseases. The environment is suffering from the rise of meat consumption, too.

Why Bianca King went plant-based with her diet – and why you could too

Blog entry by Patricia Aquino and Mikkel Bolante | July 22, 2018

Bianca King has gone green. From her diet, her use (or rather non-use) of plastics, even to the way she spends her vacations doing beach clean-ups, the actress is leading a life that is as mindful as it gets. She calls it “living...

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