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 call on countries to protect whale sharks at CMS, urges PH government to...

Press release | October 23, 2017 at 10:16

23 October 2017, Manila, Philippines – Marine conservation groups today called on the world’s nations to ensure protection of whale sharks and wedgefish when the Twelfth Session of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on the...

Multi-sectoral group calls on government to address PH food emergency

Press release | October 6, 2017 at 18:48

Quezon City – In the lead up to World Food Day, marked annually every 16th of October, a group of concerned farmers, consumers, producers, educators, and non-government, civil society and peoples’ organizations, have gathered together to call on...

Multi-sectoral group calls on President Duterte to address PH food emergency

Press release | September 19, 2017 at 16:58

Manila, Philippines - Calling on President Rodrigo R. Duterte to urgently address the country’s worsening “food emergency” situation, a multi-sectoral group, composed of representatives from farmers, fisherfolk, consumers, women, youth,...

Greenpeace statement on the bird flu outbreak

Press release | August 17, 2017 at 20:23

Quezon City – In light of the recent avian flu outbreak, Greenpeace today recommended longer-term measures to address the spread of pathogens, which it says is indicative of a failing industrial food production system.

Thai Union Commits to More Sustainable, Socially-Responsible Seafood

Press release | July 11, 2017 at 12:59

BANGKOK, 11 JULY 2017 – Thai Union Group PCL has committed to measures that will tackle illegal fishing and overfishing, as well as improve the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the company’s supply chains.

Shell to face pressure at AGM for failing to take responsibility for climate-related...

Press release | May 23, 2017 at 17:07

Amsterdam, 23 May 2017 - Today, Filipinos demanding climate justice from the companies responsible for fossil fuels that have contributed the significant share of global emissions of industrial CO2 and methane, (1) invited Royal Dutch Shell plc...

Beyond rejection

Blog entry by Johanna Fernandez | May 10, 2017

It was a few minutes past 7 in the evening when environmental and civil society groups held a candlelight vigil in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources central office last Monday. Representatives from different...

Greenpeace Philippines reaction to the appointment of Roy Cimatu as DENR Secretary

Press release | May 9, 2017 at 15:16

In reaction to the appointment of Roy Cimatu as the new Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary, Vince Cinches, Political Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, said:

Greenpeace blockades DENR, declares environment agency ‘not open for business’

Press release | May 8, 2017 at 10:00

08 May 2017 Manila, Philippines – Activists from Greenpeace Philippines today blockaded the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office in Quezon City to protest the continued control of the Philippine...

The rejection of Gina is a rejection of change: Greenpeace Statement on the...

Press release | May 3, 2017 at 15:08

Manila-- A day after the third confirmation hearing of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Paz Lopez, the Commission on Appointments voted to reject Lopez for the environment agency post.

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