Anti-GMO activists are on the verge of helping to set off a “food crisis” in the Philippines, after the country’s Supreme Court called for a new approach to the advanced crops and mandated farmers cease cultivating GM crops until new policies were set in place. Reuters reports:
Government agencies are scrambling to set new regulations on GMOs by Feb. 23 after the [Philippines’] top court late last year demanded an overhaul of existing rules, halting GM planting and issuance of new GM import permits until that was done.
The Supreme Court was acting on a petition by environmental activists led by Greenpeace, with the move likely to be closely watched by governments elsewhere as the Philippines is seen as a trailblazer for GMO. The country was the first in the region to allow planting and commercialization of GM corn, which it did in 2002, and has permitted GM crop imports for more than a decade.
The new GMO rules are expected to make it more difficult for modified crops to be given the green light by government regulators, and in a country where nearly three-quarters of all corn grown is genetically modified, that’s a big deal.
As the story notes, this changing perception of GMOs has been driven by Greenpeace (who else?), an organization that has a history of peddling its Luddite anti-science viewpoints in the developing world. Perhaps this sort of provincial viewpoint can be carried out by Whole Foods shoppers who feel some smug satisfaction about purchasing certified non-GMO foodstuffs, but most of the world can’t afford the luxury of such a baseless opinion. GM crops produce higher yields, which can mean all the difference for poor farmers in the developing world. On a larger scale, these crops allow countries to feed themselves, and by ignoring the science (which unequivocally says GMOs are safe for human consumption), clueless greens undermine the food security of millions of people.