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


Youths to Presidential bets: be a HampasLupa, champion food and Ecological...

Press release | November 25, 2015 at 13:49

Quezon City, Philippines – Young leaders from all over the Philippines gathered today at the University of the Philippines Diliman to help shape the future of the country and challenge the 2016 Presidential aspirants to prioritize food and...

Environmental, agriculture groups tell APEC, ASEAN: Stop GMO policy integration

Press release | November 16, 2015 at 13:08

Quezon City, Philippines - Greenpeace, together with Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) and Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (Sibat), called for a halt on genetically- modified organisms (GMO) policy integration in...

Environment and labor groups call for fundamental changes in the Philippine tuna industry

Press release | November 13, 2015 at 14:18

General Santos City, 13 November 2015 – At the country’s tuna capital, environmental group Greenpeace today presented the results of their Tuna Cannery Ranking Report for the Philippines. An initial survey of local tuna canneries, the report...

Mindanao youth call on presidentiables to back food security, ecological agriculture

Press release | November 13, 2015 at 12:16

Davao City - Hundreds of voting youth from different parts of Mindanao pressed the various presidential candidates to prioritize food security and ecological agriculture in their agenda at today’s #IAmHampasLupa Regional Youth Forum held in...

Climate change in the eyes of El Nino?

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | October 31, 2015

This year's El Niño can already lay claim to spawning Mexico's record-breaking Hurricane Patricia or contributing to one of the worst ever outbreaks of peatland and forest fires in Indonesia, but it might only be just getting started. ...

Greenpeace holds #IAmHampasLupa seed response to help Benguet farmers recover from...

Press release | October 30, 2015 at 13:22

Tublay, Benguet – Greenpeace, together with its partners, carried out the #IamHampasLupa seed transfer on Friday to help farming communities in Tublay and La Trinidad, Benguet recover from the impacts of Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu).

We have the power to shape the future of food and farming

Feature story | October 27, 2015 at 16:58

We have finally launched our #IAmHampasLupa Electoral Campaign, aimed at mobilizing young people to get more involved in our country’s agriculture.

Greenpeace urges Binay to support climate resilience in Typhoon Lando response

Press release | October 26, 2015 at 16:45

Manila – Greenpeace today urged Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay to support long-term climate resiliency solutions in agriculture, saying providing hybrid rice to farmers impacted by Typhoon Lando was a stop-gap measure that would not...

Greenpeace statement on Typhoon Lando’s damage to Greater Luzon

Press release | October 21, 2015 at 17:17

Manila - Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) was another blow to the Philippines which is already feeling the impacts of extreme weathers like El Niño. Yet, the unusual amount of rainfall, compounded by the slow movement of the typhoon, sent...

#IAmHampasLupa: Back to what really matters

Blog entry by Angelica Carballo-Pago | October 16, 2015 2 comments

Two farmers, different stories. Arthritis-ridden Florencio Urquia wept for his country, a land of almost a hundred million people who seem to forget how to and who tills the soil to produce the food they eat. Last Wednesday, in an...

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