GENET archive

[Index][Thread]

[genet-news] GMO-FREE REGIONS & REGULATION: More banned GE maize found in Negros Occidental (Philippines)



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  CAPITOL TEAM INTERCEPTS P14M MORE IN GMO CORN

SOURCE: The Visayan Daily Star, Philippines

AUTHOR: Carla Gomez

URL:    http://www.visayandailystar.com/2009/April/24/topstory1.htm

DATE:   24.04.2009

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


CAPITOL TEAM INTERCEPTS P14M MORE IN GMO CORN

Two more shipments of genetically modified corn worth about P14 million have been intercepted in Negros Occidental, Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan said yesterday.

As this developed, international environment group, Greenpeace, said it is demanding that the Philippine government issue an outright nationwide ban on all genetically-modified food crops.

Earlier two shipments ? 750 tons on April 4 and 101.25 tons on April 17 ? of GMO corn to Bounty Agro Ventures in Bacolod City, and on Tuesday 96 bags in Victorias owned by Pepito Vergara were also intercepted by provincial government teams and ordered shipped out of Negros Occidental.

And on Wednesday GMO positive corn was found in the bodega of Abundant Marketing in Bacolod City, owned by Helen Uy, Tabianan said.

GMO corn on a truck owned by Uy from Iloilo was also intercepted, for a total of about 123 tons estimated at P2 million, he added.

At the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. port in Bacolod City more than 500 tons of genetically modified corn worth about P10 to 12 million owned by MCR Agri Ventures managed by Cristine Soliman was also intercepted Wednesday, Tabianan added.

The intercepted corn was ordered shipped out of Negros in compliance with a provincial government ban on GMO products, he said.

Negros Occidental Gov. Isidro Zayco said he has instructed Tabianan to call grains importers in Negros Occidental to a meeting to inform them of the provincial government?s strict enforcement of the ban on GMO products.

?We have been allowing the shipping out of the intercepted GMO corn but after the meeting, punitive action will be taken against violators,? he said.

The punitive action includes payment of fines and destruction of the GMO products seized, the governor said.

?We want to give them fair warning that the provincial government is very serious on enforcing the GMO ban,? Zayco added.

Tabianan said aside from whole corn the provincial government will also go after feeds made from GMO products.

?To protect Negros from GMO products we will put up checkpoints at all entry points to the province,? he said.

There is no conclusive evidence that GMO products affect humans, but research shows that GMO food tested on rats has caused inflation of kidneys and increased blood sugar, Tabianan said.

?That is why we are imposing the ban on GMO products to protect the health of Negrenses,? he added.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace yesterday said that earlier this month Germany became the sixth European country to declare the GMO corn MON810 illegal, which, along with other GMO corn strains similarly banned or found to be toxic in other countries, is approved as food and feed in the Philippines.

GMOs have never been proven safe as food or for planting, but the Philippine government has never disapproved any GMO application, it added.

?In effect, the government is making Filipinos eat food which is banned for safety reasons in more stringent countries. This only proves that the country?s GMO policy is shoddy and inadequate and should be reassessed,? Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo said.

MON810, a Bt corn marketed commercially in the Philippines under the brand ?Yeildguard? and produced by chemical company Monsanto, is genetically altered with a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis to produce its own toxic insecticide against the Asiatic corn borer, Greenpeace said.

It was first approved in the country for commercial cultivation and for use in food, feed and processing on December 2002, despite strong opposition from farmers and environmental organizations, it added.

The approval for the GMO corn was renewed in 2007 despite increasing evidence of harmful environmental impacts, Greenpeace said.

On April 14 German Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection announced that it has come to the conclusion ?that there are legitimate grounds to accept that genetically modified corn from the MON810 strain constitutes a danger to the environment,? Greenpeace pointed out.

MON810 is the only GMO crop currently commercially cultivated in the EU, primarily as animal feed.

Aside from Germany, five countries have already banned its planting: France, Greece, Austria, Hungary and, Luxembourg, Greenpeace said.

The Philippines should follow the example of these governments, as well as local governments such as Negros Occidental, which have banned GMOs to protect consumers, Ocampo said.

The DA should also make good its commitment to promote sustainable organic agriculture by doing away with GMOs and the agrochemicals needed to grow them, he added.

Greenpeace said it is campaigning for GMO-free crop and food production grounded on the principles of sustainability, protection of biodiversity, and providing all people access to safe and nutritious food.

Genetic-engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity, and poses unacceptable risks to health, it added.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  GMO CORN INVADES FILIPINO FOOD AND FEED

SOURCE: Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/press/releases/gmo-corn-invades-filipino-food

DATE:   23.04.2009

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


GMO CORN INVADES FILIPINO FOOD AND FEED

MANILA, PHILIPPINES ? Amidst continuing interception and seizures of illegal GMO corn varieties in Negros Occidental, Greenpeace today demanded that the Philippine Government issue an outright ban on all genetically-modified (GMO) food crops. Earlier this month, Germany became the sixth European country to declare the GMO corn MON810 illegal, which, along with other GMO corn strains similarly banned or found to be toxic in other countries, is approved as food and feed in the Philippines.

?GMOs have never been proven safe as food or for planting, but the Philippine government and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in particular have never disapproved any GMO application. In effect, the government is making Filipinos eat food which is banned for safety reasons in more stringent countries. This only proves that the country?s GMO policy is shoddy and inadequate and should be reassessed. The approval for these GMO corn strains must be revoked and a moratorium on further GMO approvals upheld,? said Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner Daniel Ocampo.

MON810, a Bt corn marketed commercially in the Philippines under the brand ?Yeildguard? and produced by chemical company Monsanto, is genetically altered with a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis to produce its own toxic insecticide against the Asiatic corn borer. It was first approved in the country for commercial cultivation and for use in food, feed and processing on December 2002, despite strong opposition from farmers and environmental organizations. The approval for the GMO corn was renewed in 2007 despite increasing evidence of harmful environmental impacts.

Last April 14 German Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection announced that it has come to the conclusion ?that there are legitimate grounds to accept that genetically modified corn from the MON810 strain constitutes a danger to the environment.? The ministry based its decision on the safeguard clause from the European Union law (Directive 2001/18) which allows member-states to use the precautionary principle and prohibit GMOs in the light of new evidence.

MON810 is the only GMO crop currently commercially cultivated in the EU, primarily as animal feed. Aside from Germany, five countries have already banned its planting: France, Greece, Austria, Hungary and, Luxembourg. The German ban came on the same day that Negros Occidental ordered 515,240 kilograms of GMO corn meant for animal feed to be shipped out of the province. A Provincial Ordinance in 2007 bans the presence of GMOs in the province Negros to protect its biodiversity and organic agriculture thrust.

?GMOs have not delivered any of its promises such as higher yields, but instead have jeopardized the welfare of farmers and has exposed Filipinos and our environment to risks,? said Ocampo. ?Any government that seriously examines the threats associated with growing GMOs can only reach one conclusion: to ban its cultivation. The Philippines should follow the example of these governments, as well as local governments such as Negros Occidental which have banned GMOs to protect consumers. The DA should also make good its commitment to promote sustainable organic agriculture by doing away with GMOs and the agrochemicals needed to grow them.?

Greenpeace asserts that GMOs, aside from being risky, are unnecessary, as they neither improve crop yield nor control pests. Early March this year in Ifugao province even GMO corn varieties were not spared by corn plant hopper pest attacks. Scientific evidence further shows that Bt crops lead to swapping pests for another and harms beneficial and on-target insects while making pests more resistant to the Bt toxin.

Click here to download the document

http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/seasia/assets/binaries/bt-maize-in-europe.pdf

Greenpeace campaigns for GMO-free crop and food production grounded on the principles of sustainability, protection of biodiversity, and providing all people access to safe and nutritious food. Genetic-engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity, and poses unacceptable risks to health.

Related news stories

GMO rice contamination found in the Philippines

http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/news/gmo-rice-contamination-found-i

GE-free zones now!

http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/news/ge-free-zones-now

?Illegal? farmers label Bt corn field

http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/news/illegal-farmers-label-bt-cor

Related Reports

MON 863: A chronicle of systematic deception

http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/press/reports/mon-863-a-chronicle-of-system



                                  PART 3

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  FEED MILL SHUTS DOWN AFTER SEIZURE OF CORN

SOURCE: The Philippine Inquirer, Philippines

AUTHOR: Carla Gomez

URL:    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20090421-200684/Feed-mill-shuts-down-after-GMO-corn-seizure

DATE:   21.04.2009

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


FEED MILL SHUTS DOWN AFTER SEIZURE OF CORN

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines?The Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. has shut down its feed mill in Negros Occidental due to the lack of supply of corn that was not genetically modified.

The Negros Occidental provincial government has banned the use of genetically modified corn in food and feed production.

Dante Samonte, head of the company?s feed milling operations for Visayas and Mindanao, said on Tuesday the company shut down the feed mill last Friday because it could not get enough supply of non-genetically modified corn to sustain the milling operations of its Negros Occidental facility.

The day that the company closed its feed mill operations in Negros Occidental, a team from the provincial government intercepted another shipment of whole corn consigned to Bounty Fresh Agro Ventures that was allegedly genetically modified.

Provincial agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan said on Monday that a team from his office intercepted the shipment of yellow corn found to be genetically modified after it was shipped from Iloilo to the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port in Bacolod City.

Samonte denied that the corn shipped from Iloilo came from the same shipment they sent to Cebu, which was considered genetically modified.

?That corn was sent to our feed mill in Cebu where there is no GMO ban and the new supply that came in Friday was from Iloilo,? Samonte said.

He also said that the company did not defy the ban, adding that the supplier, Greenfield Enterprises, assured Bounty that the corn was not genetically modified.

Samonte explained on Tuesday that it was difficult to source enough non-genetically modified corn because most areas in the Philippines did not have a ban on genetically modified corn.

The Negros feed mill had a daily production of 1,200 bags, he said.

With the closure of its facility in Negros Occidental, Bounty Agro, one of the largest poultry integrators in the country, had to source its feed requirement from its Iloilo plant, he said.

The move would drive up the company?s production cost, Samonte said.

He also noted that the ban implemented by the Negros Occidental provincial government was selective since it could only identify genetically modified whole corn, not the feeds that was processed from GMO corn.

Negros Occidental Gov. Isidro Zayco on Monday said they suspected that a corn shipment intercepted on Friday might be part of the 15,746 bags or 750 tons of genetically modified corn worth P18 million shipped by Bounty Fresh Foods from La Union and Ilocos to Negros consignee Bounty Agro Ventures on April 4.

The 750 tons of whole corn were shipped out of Negros to Cebu on April 13 on orders of the governor, in compliance with Provincial Ordinance No. 07, Series of 2007 that bans the entry of all genetically modified products (GMO).

The ordinance aimed to institute ?stringent measures towards the protection of biodiversity and attainment of the status of Negros as an Organic Food Island in Asia.?

Zayco said the provincial government would allow the shipping out of the intercepted corn but he warned of harsh penalties for a repeat offense.

?Whatever penalty is provided in the law will be imposed on them, ?he said.



                                  PART 4

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  MORE GMO CORN FOUND IN VICTORIAS

SOURCE: The Visayan Daily Star, Philippines

AUTHOR: Carla Gomez

URL:    http://www.visayandailystar.com/2009/April/23/topstory2.htm

DATE:   23.04.2009

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


MORE GMO CORN FOUND IN VICTORIAS

Genetically modified corn was intercepted in Victorias City and more sightings have been reported in other parts of Negros Occidental.

Vice Gov. Emilio Yulo yesterday said the provincial government will stand pat on the enforcement of the ordinance banning the entry of GMO products into the province but is prepared to hear the concerns of those opposed to it.

Board Member Adolfo Mangao, chairman of the SP Committee on Agriculture and author of the ordinance banning the entry of GMO products, said those airing their opposition to it should have prepared for its enforcement.

He pointed out that the ordinance was passed two years ago.

Mangao said he stands by the ordinance he authored, because it really boils down to enforcing the ban to protect the health of Negrenses against GMO products, or lifting it for the sake of the profits of those opposing it.

Bounty Agro Ventures officials complained Tuesday that the ban has deprived them of much-needed corn for feeds, causing them to close down their feed mill in Bacolod City.

Two shipments of genetically modified corn to Bounty have recently been intercepted by provincial government teams and ordered shipped out.

Mangao said genetically modified corn was also intercepted at the Victorias City port on Tuesday.

A Capitol GMO monitoring team intercepted a truck where 96 sacks of yellow corn found to be genetically modified were loaded, a report submitted to Mangao said.

The corn was reportedly owned by a certain Pepito Vergara of Sara, Iloilo, the report said.

It was immediately shipped out of Negros, Jonathan Lobaton, aide of Gov. Isidro Zayco said.

Lobaton said they have also received reports of the entry of genetically modified corn in other ports in Negros Occidental that they will act on.

The provincial government will strictly enforce its ban, he said.



                                  PART 5

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  NEGROS OCCIDENTAL PROMOTES ORGANIC FARMING TECHNOLOGIES AT PANAAD FESTIVAL

SOURCE: Philippine Information Agency, Philippines

AUTHOR: 

URL:    http://www.pia.gov.ph/default.asp?m=12&r=&y=&mo=&fi=p090421.htm&no=51

DATE:   21.04.2009

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


NEGROS OCCIDENTAL PROMOTES ORGANIC FARMING TECHNOLOGIES AT PANAAD FESTIVAL

Negros Occidental (21 April) -- Various technologies on organic farming are now available for interested farmers and entrepreneurs in the booth of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) at the left wing of the Panaad Stadium.

Negros Occidental Governor Isidro Zayco and other local officials opened the booth to mark the start of the eight-day Panaad sa Negros Festival.

?Aside from the usual display and sale of organically-grown and probiotic products, we promote farming technologies and practices without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides,? said Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan.

Tabianan added that more and more farmers in Negros Island and around the country have adopted these practices and have enjoyed their health and financial benefits.

?We want to reach out to as many interested farmers as possible because we want to share these technologies that are low-cost, low-tech, zero-waste, easy-to-do, environment-friendly, sustainable and profitable,? added Tabianan.

Among the featured technologies at the OPA booth are vermicomposting; rapid composting using trichogramma; carbonized rice hull; naturally-fermented concoctions; and integrated pest and insect management practices.

Other features are the rice husk gasifier stove, an award-winning invention of a farmer-scientist in Iloilo City, and a one-of-a-kind egg incubator that a farmer-scientist in Aklan developed.

The OPA booth regularly featured during the Panaad festivities is an offshoot of the vigorous campaign since 2005 to make Negros Island the ?Organic Bowl of Asia?.

Among the accomplishments made in line with this campaign is the landmark legislation banning living genetically-modified organisms (GMO) into the province.


-----------------------------

GENET

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)

news & information

phone....... +49-531-5168746

fax......... +49-531-5168747

email....... news(*)genet-info.org

skype....... hartmut_meyer

url......... http://www.genet-info.org/



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GENET-news is a public news service from GENET.
Visit GENET website to learn more about GENET: www.genet-info.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~