NGO urges Agriculture department to protect local consumers

Published by rudy Date posted on July 4, 2009

AN environmental group asked anew the Department of Agriculture (DA) to protect the welfare of Filipino consumers and farmers by prohibiting genetically modified organisms (GMO) crops in the country. 

“The Department of Agriculture, as an agency mandated to protect the welfare of Filipino consumers and farmers, must not only support the GMO ban, it must also institute the same in all the other provinces in the country,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner Daniel Ocampo. 

Greenpeace also called on the national government to follow the example of Negros Occidental in its vigilance against GMO crops to protect and promote sustainable agriculture in the country. 

“Genetic-engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity, food security and farmer’s livelihoods and poses unacceptable risks to health.  Greenpeace is therefore calling on the Philippine government, particularly the Agriculture department, to rethink its pro-GMO agricultural policies and instead focus fully on safer farming practices such as organic and sustainable agriculture,” Ocampo said. 

The province of Negros Occidental pioneered the ban on GMOs in the country with Provincial Ordinance 007, Series of 2007, or the “Safeguard Against Genetically Modified Organisms.”  

“Greenpeace commends the continuing diligence of the province of Negros Occidental in their unwavering efforts to protect the province from harmful GMO contamination.  Negros Occidental shows that it is leading the way forward in sustainable agriculture in the country,” Ocampo said. 

Ocampo said the local governments recently upheld the ban by rejecting shipments of illegal GMO corn at the capital’s ports in Bacolod City.–IRA KAREN APANAY, Manila Times

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