Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are generally crops that have been manipulated to express genes from other plants, animals or bacteria. These genes confer traits such as pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance or toxicity to certain insects. Though GMO manufacturers claim that their products will reduce pesticide and herbicide use, the opposite effect has been seen, which is not surprising given the fact that the GMO manufacturers are the same corporations producing these chemicals. The lives of farmers are negatively affected by increased costs, frequent crop failures and health effects resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals. This is a growing problem in the Philippines, where corn, alfalfa, cotton, potato, canola and sugarbeet have been approved for production. As an organization committed to improving the lives of rural farmers in the Philippines, SIBAT has taken a stand.
The NO2GMO coalition, formed by SIBAT and over 10 additional organizations, is committed to raising awareness about this growing problem. This is done through public rallies, informational seminars, social media and legal interventions. Previously, legal petitions filed by NO2GMO have successfully interfered with the approval of a new GMO talong. This legal battle wages on, and continues to be a prime focus of the coalition. Additionally, “Golden Rice”, a genetically modified rice variety that is being targeted toward the Philippines, may be approved within the next year. Rice is the staple crop of the Filipino diet, and contaminating our rice fields with this GM variety could have disastrous consequences. NO2GMO has produced press releases, organized rallies and created informational flyers to increase awareness of this looming threat.