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

 

GMO producers are taking away consumers' rights

Blog entry by Daniel Ocampo | March 16, 2014

I once heard a scientist say:  if GMOs are patented because they are different from conventional (normal) crops, why do the companies producing them put a lot of effort into stopping the labelling of goods that use them as ingredients...

Greenpeace and MASIPAG ask the SC to uphold the Writ of Kalikasan on Bt Talong field...

Press release | March 5, 2014 at 14:33

Manila, Philippines— Today, Greenpeace and members of the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pagunlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) trooped to the Supreme Court to ask that the courts uphold the Writ of Kalikasan on the field trials of the...

Procter & Gamble brings rainforest destruction into bathrooms, says Greenpeace

Press release | February 26, 2014 at 15:00

Jakarta/ Manila, 26 February 2014 – Procter & Gamble, which makes Head & Shoulders, is sourcing palm oil from companies connected to orangutan habitat clearance in Indonesia, making consumers part of a widespread forest destruction scandal.

Pep up your Valentine's day with these quirky e-cards

Blog entry by Johanna Fernandez | February 13, 2014

Who says environmental activists can’t pull off pick-up lines? For the mushiest, soppiest time of the year, we rounded up some eco-friendly conversation openers that you can use, whether you’re looking to woo that special someone or...

Joaquin Phoenix and Kellan Lutz join Greenpeace call for forest-friendly products

Press release | February 12, 2014 at 13:04

Jakarta/Manila – A host of Hollywood stars including Joaquin Phoenix, Kellan Lutz and Gillian Anderson have joined thousands of concerned consumers in calling for an end to every-day products being manufactured through forest destruction.

The 5 Step Detox Programme

Feature story | February 11, 2014 at 12:31

You might ask, what happens after a brand commits to detox? How do these companies ensure they meet their promises and credibly eliminate the toxic little monsters from their clothes and their factories?

Greenpeace calls for ratification of Basel Ban Amendment following discovery of...

Press release | February 11, 2014 at 11:58

Manila, Philippines—Environmental group Greenpeace today expressed alarm at the discovery of fifty container vans from Canada, supposedly carrying plastic scraps, but found to contain a mixture of different household waste that include adult...

Activists around the world challenge adidas to go “all in” for Detox

Press release | January 25, 2014 at 15:58

Quezon City, 25 January 2014-- Hundreds of Greenpeace volunteers in cities around the world have today challenged sportswear giant adidas to act upon its Detox commitment and rid its supply chain of hazardous, toxic monsters. Filipino activists...

New study finds toxic monsters lurking in children’s clothing

Press release | January 14, 2014 at 16:38

Beijing/Manila, 14 January 2014—Hazardous chemicals have been found in children’s clothes and shoes made by major brands including Disney, Burberry and adidas, according to a new investigation released today by Greenpeace East Asia [1].

'Golden' rice ignores the risks, the people, and the real solutions

Blog entry by Daniel Ocampo | January 9, 2014

'Golden' rice is being promoted by GM advocates as a solution to malnutrition. But it should be for the 'target populations' in the Philippines and elsewhere to decide whether to accept the technology - and they don't want it! ...

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