KMP: Philippine peasants vs Bt-corn make news
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: KMP: Philippine peasants vs Bt-corn make news
- From: Coordination Paysanne Européenne <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 21:19:09 +0200 (CEST)
- Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
- Reply-To: Coordination Paysanne Européenne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Sender: email@example.com
>KMP in the news
>Philippine Daily Inquirer
>(the Philippines most widely circulated broadsheet)
>28 June 1999
>Please check out the webpage article in
>FARMERS URGE GOVERNMENT TO BAN MUTANT CORN
>DAVAO CITY--Farmers here are urging the government to ban the
>commercialization of the genetically engineered Bt-corn.
>They said if the mutant corn was commercialized, the country would be at the
>mercy of multinational corporations which control the trade of food,
>chemicals and seeds and have exclusive rights over the new,
>The Kilusan ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP) in a press statement said
>Bt-corn is an ordinary zea mays L. infused with a gene from the bacteria
>bacillus thuringensis that produces poison inside the plant to combat corn
>Manuel Yap, head of the group Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Ikauunlad ng
>Agham Pang-agrikultura (Masipag) warned that Bt-corn "can breed with normal
>corn and corn-related weeds in a process called 'genetic pollution.'"
>Bt-toxin, he said, can "kill beneficial and innocent insects and even turn
>the corn borer into super pests resistant to the toxin."
>"This can cause massive crop failures when super pests attack traditional
>corn nationwide, he said.
>If this happens, industrialized countries will benefit by dumping their
>surpluses of corn and corn substitutes in the Philippines.
>The press statement said the barangay council of Lagao in General Santos
>City passed a resolution on June 1 asking the National Committee on
>Bio-safety of the Philippines (NCBP) to "reverse the impending approval" of
>the release of genetically engineered corn by the seed and chemical
>Searice, a nongovernment organization, said the NCBP is mandated to regulate
>laboratory researches in enclosed gardens only, not those in field tests.
>The barangay council asked the city council to declare Gen. Santos free of
>genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
>The KMP said human reaction to the Bt-toxin "remains untested'' but British
>doctors "have linked animal and human illnesses to consuming GMOs because of
>the popular use by the biotechnology industry of third genes called
>'enhancers' and 'markers.'"
>"Markers are fragments of antibiotics which make it easier for technicians
>to know if a breeding (program) has succeeded. Also, parts of deactivated
>viruses, because of their infective character, are used as enhancers to
>heighten the expression of the gene, for example, improved shelf-life,
>flavor or color," the statement said.
>"Bt-corn contains markers from ampicillin, a popular antibiotic in the
>Philippines, and contact with bacteria in the intestines of cattle and
>humans can create super-germs that are immune to penicillin drugs," the
>KMP chair Rafael Mariano said corporate biotechnology "has produced a series
>The KMP said the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan
>(Kasama-TK) is also protesting a similar move by DuPont-Pioneer HiBred in
>Barangay Masaya, Bay, Laguna.
>The statement quoted Kasama-TK president Jerry Mangubat as saying Bt-corn is
>"the continuation of the Green Revolution which destroyed (the)
>self-sufficiency of farmers."
>Mangubat said Monsanto and Pioneer promote pesticide use instead of
>traditional manual labor to manage pests, "thus increasing landlessness and
>unemployment in the countryside."
>The KMP said Pioneer controls 34 percent of the $1.33 billion US hybrid corn
>market while Monsanto is the second largest agrochemical giant and third
>largest seed company which bought eight other firms for $8.1 billion.
>Carolyn O. Arguillas, Chief,
>Philippine Daily Inquirer
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com