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SEARICE Statement on

Philippines Appeals Court decision to stop GMO distribution, propagation

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SEARICE farmer partners take a stand against GM Golden Rice.

The Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) celebrates the decision of the Philippines Court of Appeals, upholding the lower court’s decision to stop the distribution and commercial propagation of GM Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant.

SEARICE declares this landmark ruling as a huge victory for Filipino farmers and advocates of food sovereignty everywhere, who have been fighting for decades against the promotion, adoption, and widespread cultivation of these genetically modified (GM) crops.

SEARICE challenges the purported benefits of Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant, namely vitamin A supplementation and pest resistance, respectively, stating that these are not worth the potential harm that the GMOs pose to the environment, to farmers’ safety, and to the health of Filipinos in general.

Just as importantly, SEARICE warns strongly against corporate takeover of farms that will inevitably follow when these GMOs and their patented seeds completely replace existing local crop varieties and render farmers hostage to progressively rising input costs.

SEARICE insists that Filipino farmers have enough local varieties that can supply our food and crop needs. All they need are appropriate laws and technical and post-harvest support.

With this milestone ruling by the Court of Appeals, SEARICE is confident that the government agencies concerned will enforce the prohibition on the use, field testing, commercial propagation, and importation of GMOs until the requirements of safety are fully met.

Nevertheless, SEARICE will be vigilant in monitoring the agencies’ compliance with this ruling. At the same time, SEARICE will continue to advocate for farmers’ rights and every Filipino’s right to food -- human rights which are unchangeable no matter the circumstances and transcend all other considerations.

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SEARICE farmer partners mobilize to protest against GM Golden Rice

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