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

 

Greenpeace to Alcala: Quit rhetoric, instead order the halt of all GMO field trials &...

Press release | August 12, 2011 at 17:26

Greenpeace issued a challenge for Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture to “put his words into action” by initiating actual measures that would make sure that GMO (genetically modified organism) crops unproven to be safe are...

Half-truths and wrong premises

Blog entry by Chuck Baclagon | July 25, 2011

Last July 14, The Truth About Trade & Technology published a blog, entitled “While others strive to feed the world, Greenpeace and activists destroy field trials”, which makes the bold claim that ”Greenpeace and other activist groups...

Greenpeace asks DOJ to junk malicious mischief case in Laguna

Press release | July 18, 2011 at 16:11

Greenpeace has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to junk the case being filed by promoters of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) who are reacting to the decontamination activity at the field trial site of the University of the Philippines’...

Statement from Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo at Tokyo Press...

Press release | June 9, 2011 at 19:40

Greenpeace International Executive Director Dr Kumi Naidoo today unveiled a sample of contaminated soil (1) from a Fukushima playground at a Tokyo press conference, criticising the Japanese government’s response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear...

Experimental GE crops are a public risk and field trials must be halted -- Greenpeace

Press release | June 7, 2011 at 16:43

Experimental GE crops such as Bt Talong pose serious environmental and health risks and all citizens have a duty to ensure that open air planting of such are immediately stopped, Greenpeace said today in a statement.

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Stop GE field trials in the Philippines!

World’s biggest rice exporter sets GE-free rice policy

Press release | June 2, 2011 at 14:34

Greenpeace today called on the Philippine government to follow the example of Thailand, the world’s top rice exporter, and commit to keep rice production free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The call came as farmers and environmental...

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Stop GE field trials in the Philippines!

Miss Earth Foundation joins Greenpeace call for GMO-free agriculture

Press release | May 22, 2011 at 19:49

Greenpeace held an Organic Cook-out with celebrity chefs and the Miss Earth Foundation to highlight the call for a ban on genetically engineered (GE) food crops, the protection of our organic farming industry from the threat of genetically...

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Stop GE field trials in the Philippines!

Greenpeace statement on TEPCO announcement that fuel in Fukushima reactor 1 has melted

Press release | May 12, 2011 at 20:29

Tokyo, Japan, 12 May 2011 – “Earlier readings of water levels, temperatures and pressure Fukushima Reactor 1 lead to assumptions by the authorities that reactors 1, 2 and 3 were stabilising. What we are now seeing is that at least some water...

Climate change main threat facing Southeast Asia

Press release | May 9, 2011 at 20:26

At the conclusion of the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta today, Greenpeace called on ASEAN Heads of State to act with greater urgency and show political unity in addressing climate change. The call came as the environment group criticized ASEAN’s...

Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge

Blog entry by Chuck Baclagon | March 22, 2011

“Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” -  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Hungarian Biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine) Yesterday, I remember Albert, a member of our campaign team...

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