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Farmers groups join anti-GMO campaign

Opposition to field trials gathers momentum

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • September 25, 2012
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Two farmers’ organizations announced today that they are joining a growing campaign against controversial open field trials of GMOs - genetically modified organisms.

The National Movement of Farmers' Organizations (Pakisama) and Task Force Mapalad (TFM) have thrown their support behind what is known as the Writ of Kalikasan - Writ of Nature - against GMOs,  filed in July by Greenpeace and other pro-environment groups.

"Pakisama is opposing GMOs which would limit the accessibility of seeds and threaten crop genetic diversity," said Vic Fabe, the group’s chairman in a statement.

He said once GMOs are planted or released through field testing, they can spread and contaminate the environment.

Pakisama is composed of 49 local peasant federations representing 66,393 small farmers, fishermen and indigenous peoples in 42 provinces.

Fabe said they cannot allow GMOs to be imposed on farmers because it is a "false solution to the problem of hunger and poverty."

"Instead of supporting GMO trials in the country, we call on the government to use its resources to further develop sustainable and organic agricultural production," said Dante Zagado, TFM leader for Mindanao.

TFM is a national body comprising 110,164 farmers and indigenous peoples and at least 312 people’s organizations in 11 provinces.

Daniel Ocampo, sustainable agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, welcomed the "growing support by farmers for the campaign against GMO food crops."

He said the government should see these latest announcements as a signal to stop any further open field testing and  commercialization of GMOs.

The Supreme Court issued the Writ of Kalikasan against Bt-eggplant field trials in July this year.

The court is now hearing a petition for a Writ of Continuing Mandamus, which petitioners hope will ban Bt-eggplant field trials completely.

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