The trend of activists destroying commercial crops and especially test plots of genetically modified crops continued as more than 400 farmers in the Philippines destroyed a field testing plot of GMO golden rice.
The rice was uprooted in order to stop the ongoing plan to make it a commercial product in the country.
“The farmers have decided to take action against the ongoing Golden Rice field trials. Golden Rice is not an answer to the country’s problem on hunger and malnutrition” said Bert Autor , a farmer and spokesperson of SIKWAL-GMO, an alliance of farmers, academics and many others who are against transnational corporations’ GMO crops. Autor was quoted by the newspaper Remate in this article.
The farmers are concerned about the possibility of contamination of the country’s traditional rice varieties, as is often a lesser-known side effect of GMO crops that few people know about.
Proponents of the rice say that it will be used to address Vitamin A deficiency. It would also likely be very profitable as avoiding it would be very hard for consumers.
GMOs have been linked to many health problems from allergies to far worse such as cancer and even organ damage in farm and lab animals. Despite repeated evidence of likely harm to mammalian bodily symptoms, government agencies continue to deem them safe and do not order further studies.
Officials from the U.S. have said that they hoped to clear “misunderstandings” about the rice according to the article. The rice is produced by GMO giant Sygenta.
But Autor is concerned about both the health of his countrymen and the livelihoods of farmers, many of whom have been hurt by GMO crops across the world.
As quoted in the article: “Agrochemical TNCs, which are protected and abetted by the US government, gained millions of profit from GMOs even at the expense of the health and livelihood of Filipino farmers and consumers. They don’t care if it’s unsafe, as long as they get their profit. Such is the fate of GM corn farmers. Farmers who shifted to GM corn farming suffered the most, as the price of GM seeds and other inputs skyrocketed. The farmers are now in debt, most of them lose their land to corn traders because they are unable to pay. Once Golden Rice is commercialized, this will only lead to the privatization of our rice. Agrochemical TNCs have been waiting for this opportunity, to finally control the rice seed industry. This would mean more profit to them, as rice is the staple of Filipinos and the people of Asia” added Autor.
To read the article in its entirety, visit the Remate website here.