By Reynard Magtoto
Bicol alliance against GMO holds region-wide protest caravan today, August 8, to oppose the field and feed testing of genetically modified golden rice here in bicol.
The protest action will take place in Camarines Sur from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm holding picket dialogues in front of Department of Agriculture (DA) – V office, National Food Authority (NFA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in the province.
Sararong Inisyatiba Para Wasakon Ang Lasong GMO (SIKWAL – GMO) condemns the move of the government in promoting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) instead of organic farming.
“This is not the answer to poverty and food shortage among Bicolanos and the entire population. GMOs just worsens our health and the environment,” Lany Guaves, spokesperson ng SIKWAL-GMO said.
“We have opposed foreign control over agriculture and the Agro-chemical Trans National Corporations which mainly promotes golden rice in connivance with government agencies of Duterte regime particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA),International Rice Research Institute (IIRI) and Phil Rice,” Guaves said.
Golden Rice is another type of high input variety that has been applied to the use of high quantities of manure and pesticide sentiment which has long been opposed by farmers.
Trans-National-Corporations (TNCs) such as Syngenta and Monsanto, philanthropic foundations, USAID together with the IRRI, Philrice, Golden Rice Humanitarian Board (GRHB), DA and the foreign capitalists promote this to earn huge profits while concealing the creation of Golden Rice which for them is intended for “humanitarian purposes” according to Guaves.
She added these TNCs control variety and seed patents and earning nearly 30 billion dollars a year while farmers’ livelihoods continue to decline.
“The promise of Golden Rice or Vitamin A-Rice does not have a scientific basis and has no consideration for other aspects of Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) and hunger. Because of poverty, the problem is not just VAD but also the lack of various nutrition. Golden Rice is not a solution to a worsening food insecurity but can further worsen the situation of the people’s hunger,” Guaves said.
SIKWAL – GMO also condemns the massive conversion of agricultural land to commercial, industrial and residential use resulting in the loss or reduction of farmland for basic food and agricultural products here in Bicol region.
SIKWAL – GMO resists golden rice and calls for alternative ways to provide solution to the rice production crisis. (BaretangBikolnon.com)