Monday, March 16, 2015

Negros Occidental continues ban on GMO

No to genetically modified organisms!

This was stressed by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., as he expressed concern after Philippines was among of the world’s biotechnology countries. 

“GMO is (still) ban from Negros,” he said, “we’re an organic island.”

The governor said that he stands firm on the issue, as he noted the existing anti-GMO ordinance in the province.

In 2007, the provincial government passed an ordinance that will ban the entry, importation and introduction of genetically-modified plants and animals within the territorial jurisdiction of Negros Occidental. The province is known as the Organic Bowl of the country. 

The governor insisted that “Negros is GMO-free,” adding that “it’s up to the other LGUs if they have a different perception (on GMO).”

The governor, though, didn’t let his guard down, “we need to be vigilant.”

Meanwhile, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, in a press statement, stressed that GMO is not the answer to food sufficiency.

The statement said that the promotion of the pro-GMO group to allow golden rice to be produce in the country is strongly oppose by the group of smallholderfarmers practicing organic farming system.

Any attempts of pro-GMO group to promote genetically-engineered crops will be meet with strong opposition and actions from small holder farmers and non-government organizations, OPA said.

According to OPA, GMO rice is not sensible technology to respond to food sufficiency and to the Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) of the Filipinos.

“This hazardous technology has not been tested for safety,” OPA said, adding that “this expensive and hazardous technology is not the only answer to VAD considering that there are lots of Vitamin A sources that are safer and cheaper, which abounds in the farming communities such as camote, carrot, malunggay, tomato and more.”

OPA stressed that Negros Occidental passed and enforce the provincial ordinance on GMO ban in 2007, which caused the rejection and shopping out of big ship loads of GMO corn worth P18 million in 2009.

“This ordinance supports the Organic Agriculture program of the provincial government which currently is in its high level of implementation,” OPA emphasized.

Negros Occidental promotes rice production, including organic rice, which already gain higher popularity and acceptance among consuming populace.

Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.

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