This report confirms the incidence of genetic contamination of the Philippines' traditional white corn varieties. All samples tested positive for contamination, with some samples showing high levels (up to 40 % contamination) in the genetic material of some traditional white corn varieties. Unlike defective products, genetic contamination in crops is impossible to recall and extremely difficult to reverse.
Greenpeace conducted tests in Bukidnon and Sultan Kudarat, looking at corn grits (bugas-mais or clusters of ground corn) sold in the public markets, as well as corn seeds taken from the cob in the corn farms between October and December 2012. The full extent of GM contamination is still unknown, as the testing in this report only represents a “snapshot” of the GM content of corn for sale in Mindanao. It is also not known how this contamination occurred.
White corn is the staple of 20% of the Philippine population. It is planted extensively in Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region, Northern Mindanao, SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City), Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Central Visayas. Farmers in these regions prefer to grow white corn due to its higher selling price as compared to yellow corn.
The contamination of white corn in the Philippines will have a long-term effect on the right of consumers to eat and plant corn that is free from GMOs. Furthermore, the inherent risks associated with GM crops are not consistent with the government’s programmes to promote white corn as a healthier staple since there is no clear scientific consensus about the long-term safety of GM foods.
Download the report by clicking the link below: