- Sec. Proceso J. AlcalaSecretary, Department of Agriculture
Don't allow the commercialization of GOLDEN RICE!
It will kill the livelihood of the millions of poor farmers, contaminate our food system and the environment, and could very likely result to illnesses and unpredictable side effects on humans.
Here are the reasons why Golden Rice should not be allowed for commercialization:
· Golden Rice has not been commercialized yet since it was made 20 years ago due to Health, Environmental and Social concerns raised by the international scientific community and civil society organizations
· But the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in collaboration with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture, agrochemical giant Syngenta (the owner of Golden Rice), and pro-GMO lobby groups such as ISAAA, ASFARNET, PHilMaize and Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines are aggressively pushing for the commercialization of Golden Rice this year
· The open field trial conducted in Camarines Sur, Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Norte is the last stage before commercialization
· The Bureau of Plant Industry which is supposed to regulate GMOs is even promoting for the commercialization of Golden Rice
· The Philippines is the first country in the whole world targeted for the commercialization of Golden Rice
· We Filipinos are the first people in the world to bear the risks and uncertainties associated with Golden Rice in large quantities because rice is our staple food. Are we experimental animals?
· No appropriate tests have ever been conducted on humans
· According to IRRI, PhilRice and BPI, tests will commence only after the Golden Rice is commercialized.
· Golden Rice is more dangerous than any other Genetically Modified Crops ever made. And just like other GMOs, it can never be retrieved back once it is released in the open environment.
· Golden Rice can contaminate our rice varieties, and will render useless the existence of the Organic Agriculture Program of the Philippines pursuant to RA 10068
· Golden Rice is not the solution to Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) as there are very practical ways to combat VAD such as eating green leafy vegetables, food fortifications, and diversification of crops and diets
In the final analysis, the Golden Rice project is just another marketing strategy of the agrochemical corporations to tighten their grip on food and agriculture, so let’s not fall into their trap!
- Secretary, Department of Agriculture
Sec. Proceso J. Alcala
PETITION TO PREVENT THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF
GOLDEN RICE IN ALL PARTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Dear Sec. Alcala:
Greetings of peace and progress!
We, farmer leaders, LGU Officials and employees, Church People, students and academes are urging your office not to endorse, approve or allow the commercialization of Golden Rice in all part of the Philippines which the proponents of this project are targeting this year.
We are one with the noble intention of the government, under the Aquino Administration, to find solutions to the problem of Vitamin A Deficiency especially among children. However, we believe that there are other available effective options to do these than to resort with Genetic Engineering in Agriculture. As long time organic farming practitioners and advocates, we further believe that the problem of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency, hunger, and agricultural productivity can be addressed with crop/vegetable and food diversification, and the sustainable utilization of our very rich agricultural resources.
We are aware that Genetic Engineering in Agriculture is associated with risks and uncertainties. There is no consensus among the national and global scientific community with regards to the safety of the products and foods derived from the use of Genetic Engineering. The scientific studies conducted by the independent scientists on animals revealed that Genetically Modified Crops are harmful.
We are aware that Golden Rice is a kind of Genetically Modified Crop intended to exhibit traits not within its natural characteristics, thus putting at risk the health of the farmers and consumers.
We are aware that Golden Rice is not intended for animal feeds, but for direct human consumption, thereby jeopardizing our Constitutional Rights to safe food.
We are more aware that there have been no independent scientific studies conducted so far to assess its long term impacts to humans and to the environment.
We are more aware that the field trials of Golden Rice now being conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute in Luzon did not follow the rules stipulated within Department of Agriculture’s Administrative Order No. 8.
We are fully aware that these lapses in the important procedures are strong grounds not to allow the commercialization of Golden Rice.
We are fully aware that the commercial release of Golden Rice will clearly violate our National Organic Agriculture Program pursuant to RA 10068.
We are fully aware that Golden Rice can contaminate our organic rice varieties in particular and the environment in general.
Now, therefore, as a form of exercising our duty to humanity and to our environment, we are affixing our names and signatures to formally express our petition to prevent the commercialization of Golden Rice in the Philippines.
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