Global scientific community condemns the recent destruction of field trials of Golden Rice in the Philippines
  • Petitioned Minister of Agriculture, Philippines

This petition was delivered to:

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City Philippines 1107
Minister of Agriculture, Philippines

Global scientific community condemns the recent destruction of field trials of Golden Rice in the Philippines

    1. Channa Prakash
    2. Petition by

      Channa Prakash

      Auburn, AL

On 8 Aug 2013, vandals destroyed a Philippine government field trial of Golden Rice (GR).

As the world’s population continues its increase, sustainable food production is becoming increasingly challenging. More food must be produced in the next 50 years than has been produced since the invention of agriculture. GM crops are a critical resource in accelerating increases in crop productivity in general, as well as in enhancing their nutritional value to treat malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies. In that context, Golden Rice is a critical resource in fighting the devastating consequences of widespread vitamin A deficiency in developing nations.

Research on Golden Rice at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is part of their humanitarian work to reduce vitamin A deficiency, a serious condition of malnutrition mostly affecting women and children by causing sickness and leading, in many cases, to blindness and premature death of millions each year. According to IRRI, vitamin A deficiency affects more than 15% of children aged 6 months to 5 years and subclinical vitamin A deficiency affects 10% of pregnant women in the Philippines. Golden Rice, when it becomes freely available to farmers as planned, can substantially contribute to the alleviation of this important aspect of malnutrition.

Since their introduction into commercial production over 17 years ago, GM crops have become the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in the history of mankind, precisely because they provide large benefits to consumers, farmers and the environment. These crops have an exemplary safety record, making them the safest agricultural technology ever deployed. They have already helped to ameliorate many of the kinds of damage caused by traditional agriculture and reduce contamination of corn with fungal toxins. Not a single one of the many claims of negative health or environmental effects uniquely made against GM crops has withstood scientific scrutiny.

Regulatory systems around the world mandate the thorough testing of new GM crops to ensure that there are no unintended, harmful effects either from their cultivation or their consumption. These are the kinds of controlled tests that IRRI and the Philippine Department of Agriculture are conducting with Golden Rice. A few days ago, a field test was maliciously destroyed.

New technologies often evoke fears that they are dangerous. Destroying a new technology based on such fears without testing its safety and efficacy can deprive humanity of a very valuable and much-needed advance. In this case, many more millions will needlessly suffer blindness and death because Golden Rice was not available to them. No group, regardless of its intentions, has the right to condemn a technology without evidence. It is an unconscionable criminal act to destroy a field trial conducted in accordance to international safety norms.

We the undersigned members of the global scientific community condemn the recent destruction of a Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Golden Rice trial plot in Pili, Camarines Sur organized by Peasant Movement of the Philippines and SIKWAL-GMO. We equally condemn the use of rumors and misinformation to raise unwarranted fears in vulnerable sectors of the population and to incite anyone to acts of destruction.

Authors of the petition:

Bruce Chassy

Nina Fedoroff

Drew Kershen

Martina McGloughlin

Wayne Parrott

C. S. Prakash

To:
Minister of Agriculture, Philippines, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City Philippines 1107
Petition to stop the destruction of field trials of GM crops

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

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    1. Please sign a petition calling on India's PM to allow GM crop trials

      Channa Prakash
      Petition Organizer

      Please go to
      http://www.change.org/p/mr-narendra-modi-hon-prime-minister-of-india-please-allow-scientific-field-testing-of-gm-crops-in-india?share_id=fcchTHHOZv&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

      and sign on to petition Mr. Modi asking him to permit field trials of GM crops in India and end an impasse to the scientific research on such a vital topic

      Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon. Prime Minister of India: Please allow scientific field testing of GM crops in India

      Letter to the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi - Please permit the field testing of genetically modified crops in India 6 August 2014 Mr....

    2. Reached 6,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • mike c MANILA, PHILIPPINES
      • 2 months ago

      GMO fear are totally OVERblown. They are based on bad research and Anti science.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • William Omoro NAIROBI, AE
      • 2 months ago

      It is only through testing in our countries that we will confirm the pros and cons of this technology. Allow the scientists to do the trials

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Caleb Obunyali NAIROBI, KENYA
      • 2 months ago

      We can talk of feeding the world population while we refuse to adopt modern gtechnologies for improved food production,. Ploitics should be left out of this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Franco Lajolo SãO PAULO, BRAZIL
      • 2 months ago

      Biotechnology research is essential to feed the world in a sustainable way.The activist actions were anti democratic .

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christopher Brown MILFORD, CT
      • 2 months ago

      I dislike disease and poverty. Just kind of old fashioned that way I guess.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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