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

 

Farmer-to-farmer seed delivery to help Dolores recover from Typhoon Hagupit

Press release | December 19, 2014 at 14:43

Dolores, Eastern Samar, Philippines – A farmer-to-farmer delivery of ecological seeds took place today in Dolores, Eastern Samar in the Philippines to help farmers regenerate agricultural land badly damaged by Typhoon Hagupit. It was the first...

Balaynihan for Dolores, Samar gets underway

Press release | December 15, 2014 at 17:46

Negros Oriental, Philippines - A group of ecological farming practitioners and advocates have pooled their expertise and resources to help other farmers in typhoon-stricken Dolores, Eastern Samar. Farmers from Cebu, Bohol and Negros, gathered...

‘Smart Breeding’: Biotechnology innovation that looks to the future but delivers today

Press release | October 28, 2014 at 15:39

Manila/Amsterdam, 28 October 2014 – Greenpeace International today announced their support of Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), or Smart Breeding, as a way to develop plant traits required to face the different challenges of today’s agriculture:...

Feed 10,000 Journey: A path to food and cultural sovereignty

Blog entry by Joan Meris | October 27, 2014 1 comment

Feed 10,000 people in one month-this is the goal of Datu Victorino Saway of the Talaandig Tribe of Bukidnon. Known as “Datu Vic” or “Datu Migketay” in his community, he is an elder and leader of the Talaandig at Lantapan, Bukidnon.

Groups demand immediate return of Canadian toxic waste

Press release | October 21, 2014 at 13:30

As the illegal Canadian toxic waste shipments fester in Philippine ports for 16 months, public furor over the Canadian government’s brazen defiance of international law erupted anew in Manila as environment and public health groups staged a...

Groups mount the country’s largest ‘food art’ to demand government support for...

Press release | October 18, 2014 at 11:49

Quezon City, Philippines-– Today, Greenpeace and other civic groups— composed of farmers, mothers, health advocates, organic consumers and traders and policy makers— came together to celebrate the country’s rich and diverse agricultural heritage.

Food is life. And food is as precious and varied as life itself.

Blog entry by Pat Cuonzo | October 16, 2014

Today's hashtag #WFD2014 marks the day that the world dedicates to food and nutrition. We are celebrating World Food Day with  Ida Frosk's Food Art . Of course, it's easy to celebrate food and its variety if your plate is...

Cebu Food Diversity Fair

Blog entry by Andrea Xayide Gaurana | October 13, 2014

For an ordinary consumer like me, organic products do not seem commonplace in our readily accessible markets. We’re still stuck in the age of processed food, canned fruits, and packaged, well-labeled vegetables. Although I may have...

Cebuanos reject GE ‘Golden’ rice anew, calls support for Ecological Agriculture

Press release | October 8, 2014 at 13:39

Cebu City -- At the People’s Forum on Ecological Agriculture held today in Cebu City, more than 400 leaders representing various farming group, women and youth organizations, consumer and health advocates have declared strong opposition against...

Backyard Gardening and Climate Change

Blog entry by Jabez Flores | October 5, 2014

I started my small organic herb and vegetable garden in front of my apartment in mid-2012 with the simple goal of growing pesticide-free vegetables for me and my family. Like any novice backyard gardener, I wanted to find out first if...

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