2013 has been declared the National Year of Rice in the Philippines. This is in line with the national government’s desire to achieve rice self-sufficiency for the country. While this may be good on the surface, it is quite alarming that part of the efforts to achieve rice self-sufficiency involves the commercialization of Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice variety that is said to be vitamin A enriched.
89% of Filipinos consume rice on a daily basis. The cultivation of Golden Rice places undue risks to unknowing consumers, to the environment and ecological biodiversity, farmers’ livelihood and infringes on their rights.
Aware of the dangers that Golden Rice poses, we are issuing a call against its commercialization. Our goal is to voice our objections to the imminent commercialization of Golden Rice, to demand a moratorium on commercialization and ultimately halt cultivation of Golden Rice (see Petiton below).
We hope to gather a million supporters for the campaign against the commercialization of Golden Rice and GMOs in general. By participating in this campaign, you are standing up for your right to safe food and the protection of our farmers and the environment.
Say NO to Golden Rice today!
A MILLION NOs TO GOLDEN RICE!
HON. BENIGNO AQUINO III
President, Republic of the Philippines
HON. PROCESO ALCALA
Secretary, Department of Agriculture
Elliptical Road, Quezon City
DR. CLARITO M. BARRON
Director, Bureau of Plant Industry
We invoke our constitutional rights as a Filipino people to ask you to STOP THE RELEASE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED RICE, THE LL62 RICE AND GOLDEN RICE INTO THE PHILIPPINE ENVIRONMENT.
The Bureau of Plant Industry has approved the release of LL62 Rice (herbicide tolerant GM rice) on May 16, 2012. The rice that you have just eaten could already be genetically modified rice, laden with a bacterial gene that may expose you to various illnesses.
This 2013, BPI, PhilRice, and IRRI are set to release for commercial propagation in the Philippine environment, another genetically modified rice, the so-called Golden Rice.
The release of this genetically modified rice violates the Filipino people’s constitutional right to a balanced health and a healthy environment. We invoke this constitutional right in demanding from your good offices to stop the release of LL62 and golden rice. In line with our right to a healthy environment, no environmental impact assessment studies were done to determine the effects of golden rice on our biodiversity. Please note that the Philippines is one of the mega-diverse countries and part of the center of origin for rice.
We also invoke our constitutional right to information and public participation which were violated with the release of LL62 and Golden Rice. No genuine and independent information campaign and no genuine public consultations were undertaken to inform the Filipino public and to let the Filipino public decide on the release of these genetically modified rice.
On October 18, 2012, your good government through Proclamation No. 494 has declared 2013 as the National Year of the Rice so that the country can be self-sufficient in rice, and already start exporting fancy and upland rice varieties. We, however fear with good reason that releasing GMO rice variety into our ricefields may contaminate local and heritage varieties. This has happened to US farmers some years back . Remember the US rice debacle when the US long-grain rice was contaminated with LL601 rice, countries refused to buy US rice and this caused millions of losses to US rice farmers. God forbid that this will happen to our Filipino rice farmers.
Your honors, please heed the call of the Filipino people and ban the release of GMOs, specifically LL62 and Golden Rice, into the Philippine environment.