Updated: July 04, 2013 09:34 PM GMT
Farmers call for an end to GMO field testing this week. (Photo Joe Torres)
Greenpeace today accused the Philippine government of misleading the public into thinking that field trials of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were safe and posed no risks to the environment.
The environmental group was responding to a Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement last week which said GMO food "have met international food standards and are safe and as nutritious as food derived from conventional crops."
The government based its statement on the Codex Alimentarius (Book of Food), internationally recognized regulations relating to food production and safety, including GMOs.
Greenpeace, however, insisted that the Codex is just protocols and guidelines for risk assessments of GMOs and that there are no existing standards set for the consumption of GM ingredients in food.
“The FDA should stop feeding the public with propaganda. They are not truthful in saying GMOs are safe for consumption,’’ said Daniel Ocampo, sustainable agriculture and genetic engineering campaigner for Greenpeace in Southeast Asia.
He said there is no scientific proof that GMOs pose no danger to human health and the environment. “Even the scientific community is divided on whether GMOs are safe," Ocampo said.
There is a growing debate on GMOs in the Philippine, after the Court of Appeals issued a Writ of Kalikasan (Nature), which ordered a halt to all field trials of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) eggplants.
It ruled the release of GMOs into the environment violates the basic constitutional right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthy ecology.
Greenpeace urged the FDA to be more forthright in providing information on the propagation of GMOs by disclosing that 80 percent of GMOs in the world are grown in only four countries, namely the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
Elsewhere, such as in the EU, governments have set very strict regulations and have imposed moratoriums and bans on the importation and propagation of GMOs, it said.
“Filipinos have a right to know about what goes into the food they eat,” Ocampo said.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.