I Love My Rice-GMO Free

Page - November 30, 2008

I Love My Rice Gmo Free Chefs' Charter

I Love My Rice Gmo Free Chefs' Charter

The Philippine government has approved genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) for importation and propagation since 2002. These GMO food crops such as corn, soya, and sugar beet have already entered our food supply without the knowledge of most Filipinos.No to GMO rice

In 2006 an application for the importation of a genetically-modified rice was filed with the Philippine's Bureau of Plant Industry. This application was stopped in September 2007 through an injunction filed by petitioners supported by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and SEARICE. If approved, the Philippines will be the first country where rice is the staple diet, to approve a GMO rice variety.

As chefs and restaurateurs we aim to protect the quality, diversity and the flavor of the food we serve. To do so, we need to be certain that what we put on the plates is the best the Philippines has to offer, particularly when it comes to our staple food, rice.

Because of the unknown long-term environmental and health risks associated with the cultivation and consumption of GMO foods, we are strongly opposed to serving GMO rice to Filipinos.No to GMO rice

The Philippines is a center of origin and diversity of rice. Thousands of rice varieties have been developed, planted and traded by Filipinos freely without restrictions imposed by patents as in the case of GMOs. If GMO rice is commercialized then there is a real threat that GMO varieties of rice can spread and contaminate traditional rice varieties.

At present, several provinces have already banned GMOs and have focused on organic farming which produces safer food crops. The Department of Agriculture has recently stepped up its efforts to promote organic farming of rice. We believe that this is the right way to go and that it signals the new future of sustainable agriculture.

In the meantime, it is imperative that the Philippine government legislates the labeling of all food and food products made from, or containing, GMOs. This is essential so that Filipinos can confidently choose and eat GMO-free food.

The Philippines should also protect the diversity and quality of its rice and should not allow the commercialization of GMO rice now or in the future.

We are committed to the country's GMO-free rice status and to the protection of our most important staple food from GMO contamination so that GMO-free rice can be prepared and enjoyed without hesitation across the country, by all Filipinos