Stop wasting money on GMOs, support ecological organic farming, government told

Press release - October 1, 2013
Manila, Philippines -– Following the Resolution issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) that granted with finality the Writ of Kalikasan against Bt talong field testings, Greenpeace and other civil society groups calls on the government to implement the National Organic Agriculture Act.

Dr. Chito Medina of the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pagunlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) and member of the National Organic Agriculture Board of the Philippines (NOAC) argued, “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), such as the GM corn has not benefitted Filipino farmers. Instead, this GM crop has caused further indebtedness to middlemen and agrochemical companies. The government should already learn from this experience. Instead of approving GMOs, the government should focus on the promotion and implementation of the National Organic Agriculture Act that would be more beneficial to farmers in the long term and as a solution to the need for food security in the country.”

Under Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 08[1], more than 80 kinds of GMOs for importation as food, feed and processing and 8 kinds of GM corn has been approved for commercial propagation in the country.

“These GMOs has been approved despite lack of actual risk assessment or testing by Philippine authorities. Risks assessments are solely based on literature and studies conducted and submitted by the product and/or technology developers themselves,” explained Medina.

Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigner for Sustainable Agriculture and Genetic Engineering, urged the government to veer away from allowing GMO field trials and commercialization and instead support intercropping, use of organic pests control and natural fertilizers to ensure adequate, healthy and safe food that are grown in harmony with the environment. He stressed, “Ecological farming keeps food production in the hands of farmers and away from corporate control. It also helps farmers cope with climate change.”

Ocampo added that 2.6 billion small-scale farmers already produce the majority of the world’s food[2]. “Studies in Europe, Africa, Asia and America have shown that ecological farming has proven to be more profitable for farmers,” he said.

The opposition on GMOs does not come from Greenpeace and farmers group alone. It is also a concern among other environmental groups. Atty. Ipat Luna of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide stressed the importance of understanding the impacts of GMOs on the environment and on the health of the Filipino people.

“Our legislators and the governments’ executive department need to understand the issue so that the country will have a regime of regulations that takes into consideration our fragile eco-systems and the increasing every day challenge that impacts our environment and the health of the people,” said Atty. Luna.

On 20 September 2013, the Court of Appeals decided with finality to put a stop on Bt Talong field trials. CA said that field trials of Bt Talong violate the rights of the Filipinos to a balanced and healthy ecology.

Anticipating possible appeal by respondents lead by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and the UPLB Foundation, Atty. Zelda Soriano, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Political Advisor and lead counsel for the Writ of Kalikasan said, “the petitioners in collaboration with other groups and individuals will prepare; participate actively in the execution of judgment by submitting comments and observations; continue to campaign for safe, ecological and organic agriculture; and consider other actions – administrative, etc. – to hold accountable those involved in violating, if not risking the rights of the Filipinos to a healthy and balanced ecology.”

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For more details, please contact:

Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture and Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63917-8110469,

Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63917-8228793,

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