Greenpeace Philippines called on Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar to reverse the Bureau of Plant Industry’s (BPI) decision to approve the commercial propagation of Golden Rice. The biosafety permit given by the BPI is the last regulatory requirement that developers need to secure prior to the rice variety’s commercial propagation.
“The continued approval of genetically modified ‘GM’ crops including so-called ‘Golden Rice’ will further drag down farmers amid climate and Covid struggles,” said Wilhelmina Pelegrina, Senior Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“The DA needs to ensure that farmers are central in a green and just recovery from the pandemic, and are supported by resilient food and farm systems in the face of the climate emergency. Instead of relying on GM crops such as GR that have no proven benefits to farmers and consumers, the DA should promote ecological agriculture that works with and for farmers.”
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), an attached agency of the DA and a proponent of the Golden Rice project, said the GMO followed the standard process of rice breeding that usually takes 10 to 12 years before a new variety reaches the consumers.