The Department of Agriculture was urged to stop field trials of genetically-modified organisms in the country.
Environment group, Greenpeace, went to the DA Wednesday to protest the field trials of GMOs while wearing "monster" crops and vegetable costumes depicting the harmful effects of GMO in the environment.
"The scene might look funny, but the message is completely serious," said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
"GMOs are monstersâ€”they are dangerous to our health, to biodiversity, and to sustainable farming practices. These 'monsters' have been attacking the Philippines for the past ten years, aided and abetted by the Department of Agriculture," he said.
Ocampo said their group recognizes the responsibility of the DA to provide the Filipinos with a stable food supply and ensure security.
However, he asked the DA to "do what is right and cancel all GMO approvals and instead, promote safe and sustainable agricultural methods."
DA's Bureau of Plant Industry, its arm tasked with regulating the entry of GMOs, recently announced that it has reviewed and approved 67 GMO varieties, eight of which are set to receive authorization for propagation.
Ocampo said the DA's track record favoring GMO approvals violates the foundations of its mandate.
Greenpeace recently released a report on an independent study showing that the alien genes inserted into GMO crops can cause the plants to cross-breed to related species and become aggressive, problematic weeds that may threaten to overpower similar varieties.
"What is the merit in approving hundreds of GMO crops? While the country has earned the notoriety of having the most GMO approvals in Asia, we have not gained any significant advances in agricultural productivity. In the process health, biodiversity and farmers' livelihoods are being sacrificed," Ocampo said.*PNA
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