Greenpeace urges halt to GMO rice
MANILA, Philippines—The environmental group Greenpeace is demanding a halt to field trials of genetically modified “golden rice” in Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte and Camarines Sur, saying the variety carries environmental and health risks.
Greenpeace said field trials of the genetically enriched rice, proposed as a solution to vitamin A deficiency among Filipino children, were being held in the three provinces at the urging of the International Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
“Open field trials of golden rice are now currently ongoing in Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte and Camarines Sur, exposing conventional rice crops to GMO (genetically modified organism) contamination,” the group said in a statement.
“The next golden rice guinea pigs might be Filipino children,” said Daniel Ocampo, sustainable agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
He was alluding to a recent scientific publication that suggested that researchers, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, fed experimental genetically engineered golden rice to 24 children in China aged between 6 and 8 years old.
“Should we allow ourselves to be subjects in an experiment?” Ocampo said.