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

 

EU farmers ditch GE crops

Press release | February 25, 2011 at 15:38

Industry data released this week confirms that farmers are abandoning genetically-engineered (GE) crops in Europe, following a trend of increasing public rejection in the EU, said Greenpeace. The International Service for the Acquisition of...

Greenpeace report reveals scientific doubt on safety of Bt eggplant

Press release | February 23, 2011 at 14:50

Manila, 23 February 2010 – Greenpeace today released a technical report that casts scientific doubts on the safety of Bt eggplant (locally known as talong), and called upon the President to intervene and immediately ban further field trials of...

Greenpeace moves to decontaminate Bt eggplant field trial site in the Philippines

Feature story | February 17, 2011 at 12:07

Bay, Laguna, Philippines - A Greenpeace decontamination unit today removed genetically-engineered Bt eggplant, locally known as ‘Talong’, from a field trial site in Barangay Paciano Rizal in Bay, Laguna, and sealed the experimental food crop in...

Stopping genetically engineered crops in the Philippines

Blog entry by Daniel Ocampo | January 11, 2011 1 comment

These past few months have been a whirlwind of forums and meetings with different groups including NGOs, the church, farmers, students, women, organic traders etc. - all because of the plans to commercialise Monsanto's Bt eggplant in...

Greenpeace lauds Davao City order to terminate Bt eggplant trials

Press release | December 17, 2010 at 18:13

Greenpeace lauded the Davao City government for issuing a cease-and-desist order against the conduct of field trials of genetically engineered (GE) Bt eggplant, and demanded the UP Mindanao Campus in Bago Oshiro to immediately heed the directive...

Greenpeace to host free concert and fair this weekend on its 10th anniversary

Press release | November 25, 2010 at 22:34

Greenpeace Southeast Asia is celebrating 10 years of protecting the environment this weekend, 27 and 28 November 2010.

Golden Rice a distraction to solving Vitamin A deficiency

Feature story | November 9, 2010 at 15:49

So called ‘golden’ rice will not help in the fight against vitamin A deficiency (VAD) according to a report released by Greenpeace at the International Rice Congress today. The report documents successful measures taken to minimise the impact of...

Greenpeace slams DA on Bt Eggplant

Press release | October 29, 2010 at 15:00

Greenpeace slammed the Department of Agriculture (DA) for failing to put the brakes on planned field trials of the genetically engineered (GE) Bt eggplant, even as more provinces are banning what are essentially risky genetic experiments in their...

Greenpeace greener electronic ranking shows how actions speak louder than words for...

Press release | October 26, 2010 at 2:32

The latest edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (1) shows significant separation between companies that are failing to keep their environmental commitments and those that are making significant gains in phasing out toxic...

Greenpeace calls on Philippine government to abandon Bt Talong

Feature story | September 29, 2010 at 20:43

Greenpeace and other members of the Network Opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms (NO2GMOs) today called on the government to immediately stop all field trials of genetically engineered Bt Talong, a.k.a. Bt Eggplant, and follow the example of...

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