GMO crops have no place in the market: councilor

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Saturday, August 30, 2014


GENETICALLY modified crops should not find their way into the market, said Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. in his privilege speech last Wednesday.

Archival’s speech came after 50 farmers signed a petition a few months ago asking the Government to stop the commercialization of Golden Rice, a genetically modified variant of rice that addresses Vitamin A deficiency.

“There might be other GMO (genetically modified organisms) crops that have already entered Cebu City which we’re not aware of,” Archival said.

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Genetically modified crops threaten the sustainability of agricultural lands and food production eventually leading to disaster in food security, he said.

This farming method is commonly used in the US, China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and the Philippines to increase food production.

In Cebu City, there are 8,415 hectares of farmlands that are planted to GMO crops.

Most genetically modified crops are made to resist chemical herbicides or produce insecticides that make the land toxic over time and harm other insects.

“We need to protect farmlands from destruction that GMO crops may or can bring,” he said.

Archival said that since the marketing of genetically modified products 20 years ago, the number of people starving around the world have increased instead of decreased.

RA 10068, or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, protects farmlands in the country.

Demo farms in northern and southern parts of the city have been designed for organic farming.

The Department of Agriculture 7 is requested to spearhead an event celebrating organic farming in time for the World Food Day on Oct. 16.

“We can help protect the Cebuanos if the food we bring to our tables is safe and healthy,” Archival said. (Franz Correa, USJ-R Mass Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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