Agriculture Modernization and National Food Security Require GMO

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Activities, News | 0 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consistent with the enlightened national policy since the late 1980s, the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines, Inc. (CAMP) supports genetic modification (GM) technology as an important tool for modernization and global competitiveness of agriculture in the Philippines.  This powerful tool is able to develop crops which can: (1) provide higher yields; (2) reduce environmental impacts of food production; (3) adapt to hazards such pests, diseases and climate change.  Global competitiveness in farming today, unlike in the past, is based more on scientific knowledge and technology, rather than on natural resources such as soil and water.

We join many sectors of society, including those who truly care about the future of farming, consumer health and environmental care, in expressing dismay over the recent Supreme Court decision permanently stopping research on Bt talong, declaring DA Administrative Order No. O8 null and void, and temporarily stopping the whole range of activities on research, development and utilization of genetically modified organism (GMO) technology.  This decision will tend to perpetuate existing hazardous practices for agricultural pest control.

 

We urge the Supreme Court to review its decision, considering that its assumptions are outdated and its information based purely on ideology.  The Supreme Court relied on so-called scientific literature from sources which have been discredited while completely ignoring the statements of at least 271 Academies of Science and reputable organizations from developing and industrial countries that GM products are no riskier than their conventional counterparts.  These institutions include the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Program, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),  AgBio World Foundation (signed by 25 Nobel Prize winners and more than 3,400 scientists),  the International Union of Nutritional Scientists, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the China Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the Third World Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association,  the USA’s Society of Toxicology, England’s Royal Society of Medicine, the British Medical Association, the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand and hundreds of other respected, reputable organizations.

The Supreme Court gravely erred when it failed to consider the relative risks of alternative technologies compared to Bt talong and hastily applied the precautionary principle to support its judgment.  Presently, farmers spray synthetic chemical pesticides which are hazardous to human health on eggplants as often as every other day during the eggplant’s growth cycle or worse, dip the developing eggplant in a solution of the pesticide in order to prevent enormous yield loss and to be able to market eggplants with no holes.  There is absolutely no justification to lump GMOs with toxic chemicals waste, the hazardous materials for which the precautionary principle was originally designed. In the interest of farmers, consumers and the environment, we urge the Supreme Court to allow Bt talong research to continue.

The Supreme Court’s decision to nullify Administrative Order 8 (AO8) is absolutely unjust. There is no emergency affecting life or death, or constituting environmental disaster, or even an imminent threat, which could justify such a harsh judgment.  On the contrary, AO8 has a proven record of safe and effective use for the past 12 years.  Because of AO8, our corn, livestock and poultry industries have become globally competitive, and our farmers’ incomes have increased.  What is clear and imminent danger is the possibility that feed millers will be unable to import much needed soybeans, a huge percentage of which are obtained from genetically modified seeds and that about 400,000 Filipino corn farmers who annually plant GM corn on more than 800,000 hectares will not be able to plant GM corn because permits to sell those GM corn seeds will expire as early as March 2016.

We call on the Supreme Court to allow AO8 to remain in effect until a new set of rules for GMOs is formulated so that R and D and utilization of GM technology can continue without interruption.   Abruptly nullifying AO8 puts excessive pressure on the five departments concerned to issue a new set of rules.

We need all the appropriate technologies, including GM technology, to produce sufficient and affordable food and feed, to protect our environment, to address the hazards of climate change, emerging pests and diseases, and to provide better lives to our farmers and their families.

We call on the patriotic citizens of the Philippines to join us in exorcising our country of the negative influence of false environmentalism on the executive and judiciary branches of government.

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The Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines, Inc. (CAMP) is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals using their time and money to help improve agricultural output in the Philippines. CAMP’s advocacy and advisory services revolve around all sound means to modernize Philippine agriculture and to attain better food security particularly the application of science and technological innovations.

Contact information: campsecretariat2014@gmail.com

(Emil Q. Javier, Benigno D. Peczon, Fernando A. Bernardo, Eufemio T. Rasco, Ricardo M. Lantican, Tito E. Contado and Mae Tecson-Mendoza, Ruben Villareal and Dolores Ramirez)

 

Source: http://camporg.blogspot.com/?m=1

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