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GMOs, Not on Our Platter!

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“GMOs, not on our platter!” is a call that has been pushed by Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), together with the different organizations advocating food security, nutrition and safety. This is especially relevant as the global community celebrates World Food Day. In the Philippines, the current field-testing of golden rice without exhaustive health and environmental impact assessment has alarmed farmers’ and consumers’ groups and has raised concerns about the contamination of the country’s food system by health risk food crops.

 

Golden rice is a genetically-engineered rice with the capability to produce beta carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A using a bacterium (Erwinia uredovora), daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), and corn (Zea mays). It is called Golden Rice (GR) because of its characteristic orange/yellowish color, the color of carotenoids. PhilRice and IRRI spearheaded this project.

 

“Golden Rice cannot address the biological, cultural, dietary factors and other underlying causes of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD). VAD is just one among a multiple set of malnutrition problems associated with poverty. The government through the Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Plant and Industry (DA-BPI) should look beyond the promises that genetic engineering (GE) has deceivingly portrayed in saving the world from hunger and increasing yields”, said Agnes Lintao, Policy Officer of SEARICE.  

According to Mr. Armando Catolico, farmer breeder from Mindanao, GE rice poses a threat to the ecology and the public health and raised his concerns to the DA and BPI for allowing the multi-location trials of GE Rice.  Mr. Catolico is calling the attention of public officials, notably Sec. Proceso Alcala to consider the serious risks and rule against the entry and commercialization of GE rice in our country as this will not only  affect the farmers but  consumers as well.

Agnes Lintao further states, “Farmers should  also be aware of their rights to information, as with the consumers who will be directly affected by the impact of this genetically-engineered rice variety. Let us be vigilant in all the undertakings of different sectors, especially the government who must protect us and our rights”.

 

Press Release

 

by : South East Asia Regional Initiatives for Community  Empowerment  (SEARICE)

October 16, 2012


 

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