MABALACAT CITY Two people's organization has asked President Bong Bong Marcos to stop the commercial

propagation of Golden Rice.

The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women and Bantay Bigas groups said that as president and

agriculture secretary, Marcos should address the root causes of malnutrition in the country and push for

policy reforms to resolve poverty and hunger.

The groups claimed that farmer families are deprived of adequate nourishment because they remain landless

and suffer slave-like farm work wages.

Amihan and Bantay Bigas issued the statement in commemoration of the ninth year of the historic golden rice

uprooting from an experimental farm operated by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and

PhilRice in Camarines Sur, Bicol.

On August 8, 2013, around 400 farmers and consumers uprooted golden rice as an expression of opposition which

resulted in the postponement of golden rice commercialization supposedly scheduled in 2016.

“We reiterate our stand that Golden Rice is not the solution to Vitamin A deficiency. Studies reveal that it

contains too little Vitamin A that one has to consume 3.75 kilos to meet the needed amount per day and that

its beta-carotene content degrades over time,” Amihan secretary general and Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy

Estavillo said.

The two organizations said that it is an impractical, unnecessary and dangerous experiment that would put

Filipino farmers and consumers especially pregnant and lactating mothers and children at risk.

“Nasa gitna tayo ng krisis, nagtataasan ang presyo ng pangunahing bilihin at laganap ang kawalan ng trabaho.

Mataas ang inflation at unemployment rate. Dapat ituon ng gobyerno sa pagpapaunlad ng agrikultura at

suporta sa mga magsasaka para sa pagpapataas ng lokal na produksyon at matugunan ang krisis sa pagkain at

makalikha ng trabaho. Sayang ang nagugugol na panahon at rekurso na magbibigay lamang ng ganansiya sa

malalaking agrokorporasyon,” Estavillo said.

"We urge the Filipino people to join the call to reject golden rice, defend and advance the farmers’ rights

to seed and land, and the consumers’ rights to safe food. Reviving the chemical-dependent and modern

technology will never resolve the structural problems the country is facing. Lessons should be learned from

our bitter experience on Marcos Sr.’s Green Revolution and Masagana 99," she added.

The groups said the Department of Agriculture (DA) previously identified seven provinces as areas for golden

rice experimentation including Quirino, Catanduanes, Antique, Samar, Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte and Agusan

del Sur.

There are also ongoing partnerships with local government units in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and