SARARONG INISYATIBA PARA WASAKON ANG LASONG GMO (SIKWAL– GMO, BICOL ALLIANCE AGAINST GMO)
DECLARATION OF UNITY
WE, BiKolano farmers, together with Bikolano people , joined together and are fully united to oppose and resist the PILOT DEPLOYMENT AND FEEDING TEST OF GOLDEN RICE in Bicol and in the whole country. It is not a safe food, bad for human health, and harmful to the environment. This is not the answer to the poverty of farmers and food shortages of many Bikolanos and the entire people.
We oppose foreign control of agriculture and the Agrochemical Transnational Corporations that are main actors in advancing it in collaboration with government agencies particularly the Department of Agriculture, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and PhilRice.
Also, we oppose the widespread conversion of agricultural land to commercial, industrial, and residential uses resulting in the absence or reduction of farmland for the staple food (rice) and products of Bicol farmers.
Hunger is caused by many problems – mainly the lack of food due to poverty caused by: high commodity prices, destruction of local food production (monocropping), lack of plans and support from the government to cure the problem of food and malnutrition, and change in the choice of food.
But in general, the absence or lack of own farmland while letting vast lands to foreign corporations and large local businessmen, lack of subsidies and proper support services from the government for the development of agriculture, and the widespread conversion of agricultural lands are the primary causes of farmers’ poverty.
The promise of Golden Rice or Vitamin A-Rice, which is said to be the answer to the problem of malnutrition, has no scientific basis and does not consider other aspects of Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) and hunger. Due to poverty, the problem is not only VAD but also the lack of different types of nutrition. Golden Rice is not a solution to a complex problem but on the contrary can worsen the hunger situation of the people. GOLDEN RICE IS A BRASSEN PROMISE!
Golden Rice is another type of high-input variety that is shaped by the use of high amounts of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides which farmers have long opposed.
Transnational Corporations (TNCs) such as Syngenta and Monsanto, philanthro-capitalists such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IRRI, Philrice, Golden Rice Humanitarian Board (GRHB), and the DA itself are pushing it, foreigners, to acquire huge capital while hiding under the guise that the creation of Golden Rice is said to be for “humanitarian purposes”. Meanwhile, these TNCs are in control of the patent of seeds and breeds and earn about P30 Billion dollars a year while the livelihood of farmers continues to collapse—the main producer of our food, mainly rice.
Therefore, we farmers together with Bicolano people are united in opposing and resisting the PILOT DEPLOYMENT AND FEEDING TEST OF GOLDEN RICE in Bicol and the whole country. We call for the dissemination of many alternative methods that will provide a solution to the rice production crisis; fight for a Genuine Agrarian Reform Program, and carry out sustainable farming that is diversified and the collectivization of production.
In general, only the farmers’ ownership of agricultural lands and farmlands, and the availability of adequate and proper agricultural development support services will ensure sufficient, safe and affordable food for all.
NO TO PILOT DEPLOYMENT AND FEEDING TEST OF GOLDEN RICE!
STOP THE GOLDEN RICE PROJECT!
RESIST AGROCHEMICALS TNC’s!
FIGHT FOR JUST, EQUITABLE, HEALTHY, AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM!
UPHOLD OUR RIGHTS FOR SEED, LAND, AND TECHNOLOGY!
SUFFICIENT, SAFE, AND AFFORDABLE FOOD FOR ALL!