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

 

Groups cite significance of Laudato Si to Philippine food and agriculture

Press release | August 19, 2015 at 14:31

Manila— For the first time since Pope Francis issued his game-changing encyclical Laudato Si, church groups, environmentalists, farmers and indigenous peoples’ organizations discussed and analyzed the papal encyclical’s significance specifically...

GE rice paper retracted from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – Greenpeace...

Press release | August 11, 2015 at 14:23

Beijing — Greenpeace East Asia welcomes the recent retraction of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, on the genetically engineered (GE) ‘Golden’ Rice paper by Guangwen Tang, as an important step in upholding ethical standards in research.

Greenpeace and nutrition experts weigh in on the country’s ‘food emergency’ situation

Press release | August 5, 2015 at 15:45

Quezon City — Today, environmental group Greenpeace, along with various stakeholders from the food and nutrition research sector, the agriculture industry, the academe, religious groups and other civil society organizations convened to discuss...

Join the food conversation this Nutrition Month!

Feature story | July 10, 2015 at 11:45

When we talk of hunger and nutrition issues in the Philippines, many factors come into play, such as poverty, agriculture, access to food, consumption, and our existing food systems. But where do consumers – ordinary people like you and me – fit...

Delhi High court orders Home Ministry to allow access to Greenpeace India’s domestic...

Press release | May 29, 2015 at 12:32

New Delhi – The Delhi High Court recently ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to allow access to Greenpeace India’s two main domestic bank accounts, which will let the organisation receive new donations and access the vast majority of its...

Greenpeace India faces shutdown in one month

Press release | May 7, 2015 at 13:38

New Delhi - Greenpeace India has one month left to fight for its survival following a wider government crackdown on civil society. The environmental NGO has been left with funds for staff salaries and office costs that will last for just about 30...

The grass is always greener on the other side (as long your neighbor doesn’t use Roundup)

Blog entry by Patrizia Cuonzo | April 22, 2015

Today is Earth Day, and approximately one month since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer, probably causes cancer . In the Netherlands, where I live,...

A heartfelt, much needed message to future generations

Blog entry by Jenny Tuazon | April 22, 2015

Prince Ea 's latest thought-provoking video truly strikes a chord. He summarized so well the environmental crisis we are facing of far greater, planetary proportions. Indicators such as species extinctions, forest declines, and climate...

Greenpeace seeks government’s full support for climate-resilient agriculture as El...

Press release | April 16, 2015 at 13:56

Quezon City— In response to mounting concerns about the possible impact of a weak El Niño on Filipino farmers, Greenpeace Philippines is calling on both the national and local governments to adopt and support policies and programs to help...

Glyphosate's under the spotlight

Blog entry by Patrizia Cuonzo | March 30, 2015

Pesticide Action Week 2015 had just started when I had read some interesting news:  "Roundup weedkiller 'probably'* causes cancer, says WHO study" The  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)  – an agency affiliated...

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