Greenpeace calls for GMO-free food on World Environment Day

Press release - June 5, 2012
Quezon City — Greenpeace today marked World Environment Day with a call for the government to stop the onslaught of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) into the country.

Activists marched around the offices of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment in Quezon City carrying a giant eggplant-shaped balloon and banners that said “Filipinos are not guinea pigs. Stop GMO invasion!” to gather public support for vigilance on food and environmental safety for the sake of Filipinos.

Carrying a giant eggplant-shaped balloon, the activists marched around the offices of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment in Quezon City to gather public support for vigilance on food and environmental safety for the sake of Filipinos.  They carried banners that said “Filipinos are not guinea pigs.  Stop GMO invasion!”

“We are celebrating World Environment Day with positive environmental action.  We are calling on Filipinos from all walks of life to stand up for safe food and a healthy environment free from risky and unproven GMOs,” said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“The onslaught of GMOs into our environment and into the food we eat is a threat to biodiversity and human health.  The Departments of Agriculture and the Environment should stop GMO invasion in the Philippines to ensure a safer and greener future for our children,” he added.

Independent studies have shown that planting GMOs into open fields is a serious environmental problem that presents long-term irreversible impacts on biodiversity and also presents significant negative impacts to human health.  However, despite these scientific uncertainties, the Philippine government has not rejected a single GMO application since 2002, approving, to date, a total of 67 varieties.

Last April 26, Greenpeace filed a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan and Writ of Continuing Mandamus at the Supreme Court seeking legal remedy to the flawed regulatory system that has allowed the unhampered proliferation of dangerous GMOs in the country.  The court granted the Writ of Kalikasan last May 11.  This initial decision against GMO Bt eggplant field trials makes it possible for common people to protect their rights to safe food and a healthy environment through the court's intervention.

More importantly, the decision has highlighted the country’s flawed regulatory system which is biased toward GMO approvals rather than public interest and which does not provide for adequate public participation and consultation, and does not ensure that thorough and independent risk assessments are in place.

“We are particularly calling on Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala to come clean and commit to a clear policy supporting ecological agriculture.  The current GMO policy of the government is anti-people and anti-environment.  This needs to change.  And this World Environment Day we are asking fellow Filipinos to join us in the work to ensure a safer and healthier environment for our country,” said Ocampo.

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For more information:

Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63 811 0469,

Lea Guerrero, Communications Department, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63 908 885 1140,

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