Category Archives: Issue: Biotechnology

In the News: GM Crops – Asian Farmers Have Their Say

(GM public debate and propaganda war continue. health, environment, social justice issues. small sus ag farmers vs giant biotech/agrochem companies. who’s winning? — Admin)

Edwin Paraluman remembers the skepticism of fellow farmers when he introduced genetically modified (GM) corn to his small, three-hectare farm in General Santos City, in the Philippines, five years ago.

“But even in its early growth, the anti-insect effect of the GM crop encouraged me to persist,” said Paraluman, adding that the dramatically increased crops have stunned other farmers.

Read the full story at globalenvision.org

MEDIA ADVISORY: Press Conference by PAKISAMA, AFA, SEARICE, NO2GMO

WHAT: Press Conference of Isidoro “Boy” Ancog, Filipino farmer who went on hunger strike at FAO Biotech Meeting to protest imposition of biotechnology, especially GMOs, on developing countries

WHEN: March 8, 2010, 10:00 AM

WHERE: Max’s Restaurant, Quezon Circle

Filipino farmer ends hunger strike, exposes pro-GMO agenda of FAO meeting

Filipino farmer, Isidoro “Boy” Ancog,” who went on a hunger strike during the FAO biotech conference in Guadalajara, Mexico City on March 1-4, 2010, ended his protest action on March 4, 2010, the last day of the conference, and is coming home on Sunday, March 7.
“It’s over. I will be flying home early tomorrow to hug my family. I also miss my ducks, my garden and my rice farm, which was hit by El Nino,” Ancog wrote in an e-mail sent to friends and supporters in the Philippines.

Ancog, began his hunger strike last March 2 after intervening in a plenary session of the 10th FAO international technical conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10). Ancog objected to the fact that the Conference appeared to be massively promoting the commercial use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as the most viable solution to poverty and hunger in developing countries.

Continue reading MEDIA ADVISORY: Press Conference by PAKISAMA, AFA, SEARICE, NO2GMO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GMO imposition on farmers denounced in FAO biotech conference

Filipino farmer ends 3-day hunger strike

Guadalajara, Mexico, March 4, 2010 — The Filipino farmer who went on hunger strike during the FAO biotech conference in Guadalajara, Mexico City being held on March 1-4, 2010, ended his protest action on March 4, 2010, the last day of the conference.

“It’s over. I will be flying home early tomorrow to hug my family. I also miss my ducks, my garden and my rice farm, which was hit by El Nino,” Isidoro “Boy” Ancog, an organic farmer from Bohol, Philippines, wrote in an e-mail sent to his friends and supporters in the Philippines.

Ancog announced the end of his hunger strike during the last day of the conference, where the conference report was to be adopted.

“[…] I formally lift my hunger strike. But rest assured that we will continue with our advocacy of producing safe and healthy food in our fields, which we will all enjoy, as one people,” he said in his speech.

Ancog made his intervention when reference was made to the paragraph 24 of the report, which states that “A representative from civil society expressed concern that biotechnologies would be imposed on farmers in developing countries and could adversely impact the livelihoods of small holder farmers.”

(Photo by Ditdit Peligrina)

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Continue reading FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GMO imposition on farmers denounced in FAO biotech conference

BISAD Statement of Support to Hunger Strike against GMOs

BISAD Supports the Hunger Strike of Boy Ancog against GMOs at the ABDC10 in Guadalajara, Mexico

The Bohol Initiators for Sustainable Agriculture and Development (BISAD) is a multi-sectoral provincial network composed of farmers’ groups, NGOs, consumers, local government offices, and business enterprises that promotes the development and spread of organic agriculture in the province of Bohol, The Philippines. BISAD was a key player in making Bohol the first GMO-free province in the Philippines way back in 2003 when the Provincial Government passed a legislation prohibiting the entry of GMOs into the province for health and environmental reasons, and to protect Bohol’s biodiversity.

On the occasion of conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC10) organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Guadalajara, Mexico, BISAD expresses its support to fellow Boholano, Isidore “Boy” Ancog, who represents the Asian Farmers’ Alliance (AFA) and is currently staging a hunger strike at the conference venue in protest of the possible endorsement by the Conference and the FAO of GMOs for use by farmers in food and agriculture production. Like Boy, we do not believe that GMOs will solve the problems of low agricultural productivity, low rural incomes and widespread hunger across the world, especially in developing countries. Instead, we believe that GMOs exacerbate these problems by, among others, increasing agro-chemical use among farmers (through herbicide tolerant GMO crops), aggravating insect pest immunity (through pest resistance GMOs), upsetting natural flow and evolution of biodiversity (through GMO contamination) undermining and threatening farmers’ use of seeds (through application of intellectual property rights by corporations on GM crops), etc.

Continue reading BISAD Statement of Support to Hunger Strike against GMOs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Filipino farmer goes on hunger strike during FAO biotech conference

Guadalajara, Mexico City, March 4, 2010 – A Filipino farmer attending a biotechnology conference organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) went on hunger strike the other day in protest of what civil society organizations perceive to be a heavy bias of the event towards the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture.

Isidoro “Boy” Ancog, an organic farmer from the province of Bohol in the Philippines, declared the hunger strike during the second day of the 10th FAO international technical conference entitled “Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries: Options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry to face the challenges of food insecurity and climate change (ABDC-10)”, being held in Guadalajara, Mexico on March 1-4, 2010.

He made his first intervention during the session on targeting biotechnologies for the poor on the first day of the conference, after the Chair of the session mentioned poor farmers and the need for them to tap on biotechnology.

“I am against GMOs. My province, Bohol, publicly rejects GMOs as a policy. The organizations I represent — PAKISAMA (National Confederation of Peasant Organizations in the Philippines), and AFA (Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development) — are fighting against GMOs. Why? Because we firmly believe it is not the solution to poverty and hunger, but rather a cause of more deprivation in the future,” said Ancog.

Continue reading FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Filipino farmer goes on hunger strike during FAO biotech conference

Small farmers’ intervention during FAO biotech conference (Day 2)

(Speech delivered by Isidoro Angoc, staff-farmer of PAKISAMA, an AFA member, during the second day of the FAO international technical conference on “Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries: Options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry to face the challenges of food insecurity and climate change (ABDC-10)” being held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. ABDC-10 is hosted by the Government of Mexico and co-sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the World Bank are major partners in this initiative. Click here to go to the conference website.)

Guadalajara, Mexico, March 2, 2010 — I am Isidore Ancog from AFA.

As in the past, modern technologies come and go in our small farmlands especially that of green revolution; some died early, some stayed longer, but just the same those did not sustain. Why because we don’t own those technologies. Those were imposed on us from the top. As usual technicians from either public or private sector, come to our farms and introduce new inventions, and when they fail they just disappear, living us cleaning their mess – sometimes it will take years. We do not even know the scientists who invented those technologies to let them hold accountable.

Technicians can live without our farms, but we cannot. Farming is not only our means of living – but it is our way of life.

If you want your technologies to be accepted by small farmers, be transparent. Allow us to participate in the process and do not name it by yourself or your company. After all, if you insist for an IPR of your inventions, we can always insist not use our farms as testing grounds. And that also applies to Seeds. For us Seeds are nature’s gift for the use of everybody freely without restrictions. By any moral tradition, no one has the exclusive right to own them and deprive freedom of others to use them. For us any law that legalizes it is therefore immoral and malicious.

Continue reading Small farmers’ intervention during FAO biotech conference (Day 2)

Small farmer’s intervention at FAO biotech conference

(Speech delivered by Isidoro Angoc, staff-farmer of PAKISAMA, an AFA member, during the FAO international technical conference on “Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries: Options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry to face the challenges of food insecurity and climate change (ABDC-10)” being held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. ABDC-10 is hosted by the Government of Mexico and co-sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the World Bank are major partners in this initiative. Click here to go to the conference website.)

I am Isidoro Ancog, farmer from the Bohol islands, Philippines. I am a tenant of a one hectare land, and I plant rice, peanuts, pineapple, vegetables, banana, yam and raise chicken , ducks and fish. I represent the Asian Farmers Alliance for Sustainable Rural Development or AFA. My organization in the Philippines is PAKISAMA, a national confederation of small farmers, marginal fishers, rural women, indigenous peoples and rural youth. My organization PAKISAMA is a member of AFA.

I am very grateful and honored to be invited to this conference, and for that I thank wholeheartedly the organizers and FAO.

Before I came here I have two FEARS and suddenly it becomes three now. I had a chance to read some of the documents that pertains to this conference. But I sadly regret that some or most of the terms there I do not understand because it is written in modern scientific parlance. That is my first FEAR, to go home after this conference with less understanding of modern scientific jargons.

My second FEAR is centered on the title of this first plenary; “Targeting biotechnologies to the poor”. I observe that the small scale men and women farmers and fishers, who form the majority of the poor in this world, are so underrepresented in this room. As a poor farmer in a remote province of Bohol, Philippines, I am extremely threatened rather than happy. This is a manifestation of what is happening in our villages — we are targeted, we are not involved in processes. Technologies are so top-down, imposed on us with very few knowledge given, especially on their limitations and effects.
to those whom they called POOR. What else are we not learning from the past?

However, there is one very obvious to me that I noticed. Most of the documents I came across are dealing with genetic engineering, and for that I have this feeling that this conference has defined biotechnology to zero in towards massive commercialization of Genetically Modified Organisms – that is my third and biggest FEAR – to face defensively to an adverse intellectual arrogance on a big scale?

Continue reading Small farmer’s intervention at FAO biotech conference