DA urged to ban GMOs; support sustainable, pro-farmer agriculture

Aug. 04, 2016

DAVAO CITY – A group of farmers and scientists challenged the Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol to support the farmers call on developing sustainable and safe agriculture.

The Magsasaka at Siyentista para sa Agrikultura (Masipag) said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) “should support, promote and enhance the best practices of sustainable agriculture and farming already adopted by farmers who refuse to use chemical-based farm inputs and GM (genetically modified) technologies.”

“The government must support the practice and development of sustainable agriculture and provide much-needed support services to help farmers increase their yield as this will contribute to food security and self-sufficiency,” said Alfie Pulumbarit, Masipag campaign officer.

In a press statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said that the DA “is the lead agency implementing the Joint Department Circular (JDC) No. 1, series of 2016, the current guideline on the propagation, importation, commercialization, research and development of GM crops, particularly plant and plant products derived from the use of modern biotechnology.”

The scientists group and advocates of science and technology called Agham said that the first step in ending the monopoly control of agro-corporations in agriculture is the junking of the JDC, which facilitates the dependency of farmers to unsafe and dangerous GMOs.

Agham’s Feny Cosico said, “the path to food security and self-sufficiency should not mean the promotion of and reliance to foreign and corporate-controlled agriculture technologies.”

The groups KMP, Agham, and Masipag, are members of Resist Agrochem Transnational Corporation network  (RESIST), an alliance opposing agro-chemical corporations and the propagation of the GMOs. They issued  issued an appeal to the Piñol “to heed the demand of farmers, scientists and consumers for free and safe food for all.”

The network sought for future dialogues with Pinol to present the people’s agenda on food security. (davaotoday.com)

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