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Groups to DA: Ban 'Golden Rice'

Dennis Carcamo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Environmental group Greenpeace on Monday called on the Department of Agriculture to ban the genetically modified "Golden Rice" for commercial use. .

Along with the members of the Kasarian-Kalayaan Inc., Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment and Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya, Greenpeace rallied in front of the DA office in Quezon City, urging Secretary Proceso Alcala not to approve the GR for commercialization. 

The groups argued that viable, working solutions to eradicate Vitamin A Deficiency  already exist, proving that genetically modified Golden Rice is unnecessary given its inherent risks to human health and the environment.

Despite the hype and decades of research and development, GMO proponents still do not have scientific proof that Golden Rice will indeed solve VAD, the groups added. 

"Secretary Alcala needs to see the truth that Golden Rice is the wrong approach and a risky distraction to the real solutions to combat VAD and malnutrition,"Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, said.

"In fact, we have plenty of fruits and vegetables that are affordable, easily available and undoubtedly rich sources of beta carotene and other nutrients. It just doesn’t make sense for the Philippines to grow Golden Rice, or any GMO for that matter," he added.

Citing the 2008 National Nutrition Survey in the Philippines that revealed how VAD incidence in the country has significantly decreased, Ocampo called on the DA to look into long-term solutions to encourage people to diversify their diets with food grown in a system of ecological farming, instead of advocating false solutions like Golden Rice.

The groups also called on Alcala to stop approving field trials of GMOs in the country.

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AND SIBOL

DANIEL OCAMPO

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

GOLDEN RICE

GREENPEACE

GREENPEACE PHILIPPINES

KASARIAN-KALAYAAN INC

NATIONAL NUTRITION SURVEY

QUEZON CITY

SECRETARY ALCALA

SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA

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