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

 

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...

Youth congregate in Cebu to promote agri issues in Presidential elections

Press release | March 19, 2016 at 14:54

Cebu City - Youth leaders from across the country have converged in Cebu on the eve of the 2nd Presidential Debates to demonstrate their support and solidarity with Filipino farmers, and to call on Presidential candidates to prioritize food,...

Coalition pushes for environmental agenda ahead of 2nd Presidential debate

Press release | March 16, 2016 at 14:25

Cebu City – Environmental and community groups band together with members of the church, academe, cause-oriented and civil society organizations, to amplify their call for a more robust discussion of environmental agendas in the 2ndPiliPinas...

Greenpeace statement on the approval of new GMO rules

Press release | March 9, 2016 at 10:40

MANILA - On Monday, March 7, 2016, the Philippine government approved a new set of rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) after the Supreme Court declared invalid the previous Department of Agriculture Order (DAO) 08.

A Challenge to the Presidential Candidates: How do you solve a problem like El Nino?

Blog entry by Hazel Tanchuling, guest blogger | February 20, 2016

According to experts, El Nino is a cyclical event that is caused by the warming of the eastern equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean. Its effect in the Philippines is dry (below normal rainfall), warm (slightly higher temperature than...

Multi-sector groups to DA: conduct true public consultation before issuing new rules...

Press release | February 17, 2016 at 15:49

Manila—Environmental, consumer and farmers’ groups today challenged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to conduct true, meaningful and extensive public consultation before issuing new rules for the research, commercial cultivation and importation...

Green Thumb Coalition pushes for "green" elections in Cebu

Press release | February 17, 2016 at 15:39

Cebu City, February 17, 2016 – Various non-government organizations and civil society groups called on the candidates who are running for the 2016 elections to prioritize environment issues in Cebu. The Green Thumb Coalition, a nationwide...

Green Thumb Coalition launched in Oriental Mindoro

Press release | February 16, 2016 at 15:44

Calapan, Oriental Mindoro – The province of Oriental Mindoro today welcomed the representatives of the Green Thumb Coalition [1] which aims to raise awareness among the voting public and to provide a venue for candidates to present their agenda...

Green Thumb Coalition dares candidates to bare their platforms for the environment

Press release | February 5, 2016 at 16:06

QUEZON CITY, 5 February 2016— Today, a coalition made up of over 40 national and local organizations launched the Green Thumb Coalition and challenged 2016 presidential candidates to put socio-environmental issues at the heart of their electoral...

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