September 1, 2013
by Arjun Walia
More than 400 farmers from the Bicol region in the Philippines have successfully uprooted the ongoing field testing of Golden Rice in their community. They trashed the GMO rice in order to stop the planned commercialization of the crop.
The farmers have decided to take action against the ongoing Golden Rice field trials. Golden Rice is not an answer to the country’s problem of hunger and malnutrition – Bert Autor, farmer and spokesperson for SIKWAL GMO, an alliance of famers, students, consumers and academics based in Bicol who are against GMOs and Agrochemical Transnational Corporations. Secretary general of the KMP (region in Philippines) (2)
Farmers feel that the Agrochemical Corporations and the United States of America are behind the push for the adoption of golden rice and other GMOs. Golden rice is genetically modified with genes coming from bacteria and corn to produce beta carotene. Previously golden rice was scrapped because it didn’t work, and has only recently come back up through a testing phase. The reasons for it’s recent re-development is to combat malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency. Keep in mind however, that the average child suffering from malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency would have to eat 27 bowls of rice per day to be properly nourished, so really what benefit would golden rice supply?
Agrochemical TNCs, which are protected and abetted by the US government, gained millions of profit from GMOs even at the expense of the health and livelihood of Filipino famers and consumers. They don’t care if it’s unsafe, as long as they get their profit. Such is the fate of GM corn farmers. Farmers who shifted to GM corn farming suffered the most, as the price of GM seeds and other inputs skyrocketed. The farmers are now in debt, most of them lose their land to corn traders because they are unable to pay. Once Golden Rice is commercialized, this will only lead to the privatization of our rice. Agrochemical TNCs have been waiting for this opportunity, to finally control the rice seed industry. This would mean more profit to them, as rice is the staple of Filipinos amd the people of Asia (2) – Bert Autor
The concerns voiced by the participants is that golden rice could pose unforeseen risks to human health and the environment. No doubt about it, these are very valid concerns. Multiple studies from all around the world have clearly outlined the dangers associated with GMOs, and the hazards that they could pose to human health, so in reality who can blame these protestors? Please browse through our website, or use the search bar entering key words like “GMO” if you are looking for more information and links to studies that’ve been done. It’s not hard to find if you simply do the research. Again I’d like to reiterate, studies have shown that GMOs can be harmful to human health, it’s time to wake up.
It seems the entire planet is aware of the multiple effects GMOs can have on human health, if this wasn’t the case then why would Monsanto be forced to drop their bid to approve GMO crops in Europe? Why would Italy make a move to ban GMO corn? Why would a large majority of countries all around the world reject all GMO crops? There is clearly enough evidence that supports the rejection of GMOs, this can’t be denied. Given all of these facts, I encourage you to further your research. Too often we are misled by the corporate media, which we need to remember is largely owned by the same financial institutions that hold major shares within the biotech industry! (3)(4). I’ve provided a short, quick example of that in the sources, but the connections are endless.
Farmers are correct when they say that genetically modified rice has no purpose but to satisfy large corporations and their monopoly on seeds and the desire for large profit.
Uprooting of the GM rice is our strong political message against greedy agrochemical TNCs like Syngenta and the Aquino government, which allowed field trials of Golden Rice. The golden rice will pave the way for widespread control of TNCs in agriculture and food patenting seeds and varieties. We call on the Department of Agriculture to immediately cancel Golden Rice and other GMO field testing in the country. We don’t need GMO. What we need is genuine land reform to address hunger and poverty – Wilfredo Marbella, KMP deputy secretary (1)
It’s astonishing to see the growing resistance against GMO crops all over the planet. The movement is worldwide and has taken off exponentially. The human population isn’t stupid, we know whats up. Isn’t it funny how the only groups supporting GMOs are the corporate media? The same media that is owned by the same institutions that own these big biotech companies? Apart from them, it’s only people who watch and believe without any question or research. Given the fact that there is enough evidence to suggest that GMO crops can be harmful to human health, they should not be allowed anywhere without further examination.
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