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.
Following Ancog’s announcement that he was ending his hunger strike, he addressed the Conference, saying, “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.”
Ancog’s interventions took the conference by surprise and led to the inclusion of the sentence “GMOs should not be imposed on farmers in developing countries” in the text of the final conference report. Supporters say that it may be easy to go around, since the word “impose” is very subjective. But the statement is a very powerful one that farmers, anti-GMO activists, and organic agriculture practitioners can refer to in their future fights at different fronts.
Ancog is an organic farmer from Bohol, the first province in the Philippines to declare itself “GMO-free” in 2003. He is also a member of PAKISAMA (Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka) and AFA (Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development). PAKISAMA is a member of the NO2GMO Coalition, which leads in the advocacy against GMOs in the Philippines.
Jun Virola, AFA – (0928)719-2115
Elaine Teope, PAKISAMA – (0919)619-0466
Joya Doctor/Jean Yasol, SEARICE – (0917)512-4624/(0916)517-8030