The consistency of these farmer leaders to practice agroecology (http://agroecophilippines.org/the-agro-eco-philippines-approach-to-agroecology/) for the past 15-20 years have emancipated thousands of small-scale farmers from the grip of agro-chemical corporations. And their undeterred courage opposing Golden Rice makes us consumers still safe from the risks and uncertainties associated with this very controversial and widely-opposed GMO crop.
Golden Rice was first introduced in 1993 by Dr. Ingo Potrykus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (also known as ETH Zurich) and Dr. Peter Beyer of University of Freiburg, Germany. The two scientists worked in collaboration (with funding) with the Rockefeller Foundation, also the one behind the creation of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), responsible for the lost of thousands of our traditional and resilient rice varieties.
Agro-chemical giants like Syngenta, Monsanto and Bayer have patents over Golden Rice. No country has ever allowed to use Golden Rice since the time of its creation due to the safety, environmental and political issues directly linked with it, aside from the fact that it’s not really necessary to address the problem of Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) among the children in the developing countries.
There are proven much better effective and safe measures to VAD and some of which, according to nutritionists, are crops and food diversification – by simply planting and eating vegetables. Many of our green leafy vegetables like malunggay, kangkong, camote tops, gabi and ampalaya contains a higher level of beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A. Read this article from DOST https://fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/publications/writers-pool-corner/57-food-and-nutrition/210-bahay-kubo-sings-a-variety-of-veggies-for-the-picking.
In 2013 and 2014, IRRI and PhilRice were very aggressive in pushing for the commercialization of Golden Rice in the Philippines, making us the first people that could have become lab rats, but it was met with strong public oppositions https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/650350/war-on-gmo-quiet-but-visible-in-davao-city and https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24021-militant-filipino-farmers-destroy-golden-rice-gm-crop/.
On December 10, 2019 the Philippine government approved the use of Golden Rice for food, feed and processing. But it is still not commercialized up to this date, which is now the subject of our strong, organized and protracted protest actions – of which we have all the scientific, ethical, social and political basis (https://www.geneva-academy.ch/joomlatools-files/docman-files/UN%20Declaration%20on%20the%20rights%20of%20peasants.pdf) to do so – and gained the needed momentum as a result of our previous victories and those that we will soon achieved.
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