UN human rights official worries about ‘corporate control’ of food

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A United Nations (UN) representative undertaking a weeklong visit to the Philippines expressed her opposition to the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as she concluded her mission to evaluate the country’s food problems.

At a news conference in Makati, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Hilal Elver said a number of questions remain unanswered about the GMO approach, including long-term health effects and the business models practiced by multinational seed companies.

“GMOs are a huge thing and there is a huge discussion on it. I am against GMOs for several reasons… We don’t know the health impacts of GMO in the long term,” Ms. Elver told reporters.

She added that the aggressive defense of seed patents by multinationals has led to small farmers being accused of infringing on their intellectual property.

“They take away the farmers’ seeds from them and the corporations make a business from it,” she said.

For these reasons, “the use of GMOs should be carefully studied, and, I’m not sure if it should be accepted,” she said.

The UN representative, who is part of the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, launched her visit on Feb. 20. The final report of her findings, Ms. Elver said, will be sent to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

Read full, original article: UN official says questions remain on GMO health impact, business practices

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