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

 

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...

Greenpeace statement on the ARMM government’s strong support for organic food...

Press release | October 3, 2014 at 14:21

Manila, Philippines— Recently, the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao signed a memorandum of agreement pushing for more livelihood projects through organic food production in Basilan. Daniel Ocampo, Ecological Agriculture Campaigner for...

Farmers face uncertainties because of GMO contamination

Blog entry by Daniel Ocampo | September 24, 2014

Eugenio Geraldo is a 51-year old farmer from Tomigbong, San Luis in Malitbog, in the province of Bukidnon. He is married and has six children. He started farming as early as 1971 and farming has remained his source of livelihood when...

Mindanao groups say ‘Yes’ to Ecological Agriculture

Press release | September 18, 2014 at 14:17

Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines— Today, various groups have expressed their full support to a new Greenpeace initiative that aims to promote and strengthen Ecological Agriculture in the Philippines. Representatives from the local government,...

Greenpeace urges DA and PCA to stop promoting pesticide use against cocolisap

Press release | June 26, 2014 at 14:08

Manila, Philippines, 26 June 2014 – Greenpeace today urged the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Coconut Authority to stop using neonicotinoids to combat coconut scale insects (CSI) or “cocolisap” plaguing our coconut plantations. The...

Volunteer Spotlight: Elmer Vestidas

Feature story | May 27, 2014 at 17:01

In 1992, famous Irish rock band U2 made an action to protest with Greenpeace against the THORP nuclear power plant in the UK. Elmer, a supporter of the band’s advocacies and a fan of their music, told himself, “I will join Greenpeace as a...

Greenpeace reaction to President Aquino’s speech during the World Economic Forum-East...

Press release | May 22, 2014 at 17:11

Manila, Philippines, 22 May 2014— Atty. Zelda Soriano, Political Advisor for Greenpeace Southeast Asia said:

Policy experts say environmental protection is crucial to ASEAN economic integration...

Press release | May 20, 2014 at 12:56

Manila, Philippines, 20 May 2014—The protection of Southeast Asia’s natural and human resource base must be ensured as the region moves towards economic integration in 2015 and beyond. This was the pronouncement made by regional policy experts,...

Pahiyas Festival: A colorful glimpse into our farming roots

Blog entry by Daniel Ocampo | May 18, 2014

The Philippines has had a long affinity with rice.  Our rice farming history dates back to antiquity, perhaps most vividly manifested in the iconic rice terraces carved into the hillsides of northern Philippines.  At one point in time,...

Breastfeeding and indigenous food: a mother’s recipe for healthy children

Blog entry by Velvet Escario Roxas | May 11, 2014

Today is Mother’s Day and as a Filipino mother of two girls and Deputy Executive Director of Arugaan, a Filipino NGO which protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding, it is a great opportunity to share our recipe to ensure our...

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