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

 

Tedurays and Lambangians of Maguindanao start rebound from El Niño with organic,...

Press release | July 21, 2016 at 13:47

Cotabato City, Philippines; 20 July 2016 – Indigenous peoples of Maguindanao, who have been severely affected by the 2015-2016 double El Niño, take on the challenge of recovery as they start to plant, organic, non-GMO corn seeds this week.

Food, fasting and the meaning of Ramadan

Blog entry by Francisco Noveda | July 6, 2016

What is the right diet? When do we really need to eat? Protein from meat or protein from vegetables? Slow food or fast food? Organically grown or genetically modified? Halal or Haram ? Countless debates about food happen...

Food security can’t wait for GE’s empty promises

Blog entry by Herman van Bekkem and Wilhelmina Pelegrina | July 1, 2016

Across vast tracts of the Philippines, farmers are adapting their farming methods to withstand climate change. They're producing food in times of drought and typhoons through resilient forms of ecological agriculture. Meanwhile some...

Ecological Agriculture farmers come to aid of fellow farmers facing extreme weather...

Press release | June 12, 2016 at 16:14

Cotabato, Philippines – Farmers in Mindanao who were severely affected by the double El Niño last year and early this year, and who currently may be facing threats from La Niña, received a response package this past week, June 6-8, consisting of...

Youths call for protection of future and food security in nationwide flash mob

Press release | April 27, 2016 at 14:55

Manila – Youth representatives in Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila today held a simultaneous flash mob around the headquarters and provincial strongholds of Presidential candidates. They are calling for an urgent response to the growing...

Youths call for protection of future and food security in nationwide flash mob

Press release | April 27, 2016 at 14:55

Manila – Youth representatives in Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila today held a simultaneous flash mob around the headquarters and provincial strongholds of Presidential candidates. They are calling for an urgent response to the growing...

Young leaders urge Presidential candidates to seriously look into food security issue

Press release | April 8, 2016 at 11:03

Manila, Philippines - Following the recent Kidapawan incident involving farmers demanding food from the government, a group of young leaders expressed their dismay and are urging the Presidential candidates to seriously look into the country’s...

10 million green voters to 'score' 2016 candidates

Press release | April 6, 2016 at 14:20

The Green Thumb Coalition (GTC), representing various civil society and environmental organizations, releases the ‘Green Thumb Score Card’ – a set of questionnaires about different environmental issues that will be distributed to presidential,...

Greenpeace condemns bloody dispersal of farmers in Cotabato and demands government...

Press release | April 1, 2016 at 18:58

Manila, Philippines - Greenpeace denounced the bloody response made by police on Friday, April 1, to protests by farmers and lumad (Indigenous Peoples) from the different towns of Cotabato who were demanding relief and subsidy for farm...

Groups deplore lack of clear plans, positions on environment issues

Press release | March 21, 2016 at 11:12

Cebu City–Environmental groups who converged in Cebu yesterday for the second leg of the PiliPinas Presidential Debates 2016 expressed disappointment at the candidates’ lack of any clear positions and plans regarding urgent environmental issues...

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