ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

10 December 2002


Hoovers News Online, December 9, 2002
Farmers vow to continue protests vs genetic corn

ILAGAN, Isabela-Members of the Anti-GMO Alliance in Isabela  (Agmais) remained unfazed by reports that the government  has approved the commercial planting of the Bacillus  thuringiensis Bt-corn, a genetically modified crop. The  group vowed to continue its opposition to the commercial  cultivation and distribution of the GMO crop.

Fr. Gregorio Uanan, Diocese of Ilagan chancellor and Agmais  spokesperson, said their group would continue to hold  information caravans in Isabela's villages. He said they  would also use the pulpit to talk about the supposed risks  of the Yieldgard Bt-corn. Uanan claimed that studies made  by foreign biotechnology experts cited the side effects on  users of GMO-enhanced products, such as various types of  cancer and other illnesses. The group also said the Bt-corn  might contaminate non-genetically engineered crops and  seeds.

The American firm Monsanto Co. leads the cultivation  of the Bt-corn in the country. Uanan said the Agmais would  link up with the international environmental group  Greenpeace to sustain protests against the Bt-corn in  Isabela.

Reports said the government approved last week the  commercialization of the Yieldgard Bt-corn, an  insect-resistant crop laced with the Bacillus thuringiensis  bacteria. Emmanuel Borlongan, Monsanto-Philippines  government and public affairs team leader, expressed  optimism that Bt-corn would increase the income and further  boost the productivity of corn farmers in the country. "The  previous field trial results showed increased crop yields  and even demonstrated reduced need of insecticides so  income of farmers would be boosted," he said.

Villamor Visaya Jr., PDI Northern Luzon Bureau Copyright 2002.

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