Exchanges on Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Jeck, I read in the Manila Times that Bobby is anti-GMO. I suggest that he study the issue more carefully. I have done a 2 year study on the subject and I found that a good R & D program should be able to produce GMOs beneficial to our farmers much as they are to farmers in the countries where they are now grown. Farmers in General Santos City who monitored the Bt corn trial demonstrating 100% freedom from corn borer without pesticides feel strongly that they are being deprived of a very helpful technology by NGOs, priests and bishops who know nothing of their woes in corn farming.
Consider also: the planting of Bt cotton alone in 1998 in the
Despite the vociferous campaign of European NGOs,
So, what is the real issue here?
Bobby could be losing a lot of votes from the progressive farmers (Why deprive
them of a choice?) and the scientific community.
-- Nina Halos
Dear Nina & all, Your posting on GMO's is an eye-opener. To the uninitiated however, GMO comes
across akin to an alien life form (sounds familiar) that might mutate over time into something as dreadful as that extra-terrestrial in the senate.
You have mentioned astounding economic benefits as well as "positive" environmental implications. Could you please enlighten us some more (especially the possible mutation scenario) on GMO's.
-- Sam Aherrera
The most prominent GMOs I could think of are the various rice varieties developed by IRRI (intl.), PhilRice (Phil. govt's), and other rice research institutes of many countries in the world. Just last week, the "golden rice" was reported to be near-commercialization. Golden because it contains essential vitamins to supplement our bodies' other needs; this way, "may bigas ka na, may vitamins ka pa", cute!
I could think of some benefits of GMOs (applied in rice, livestock, cutflower, fishery, etc.):
1. It beats the Malthusian (Thomas Malthus, 1800s economist) bleak formulation that mankind is destined for hunger because while food production increases arithmetically, population increases geometrically. Bio-technology, micro-biology, genetics science, and GMOs are mankind's current, perhaps ultimate, answer to problem in food production. Biotech allows a land-poor country or community to grow its food needs through hydro-ponics and its cousin technology. It also allows an upland farming community produce rice, corn, etc. through less irrigation-dependent varieties, etc.
2. It could be cheap, as cited by Nina, where certain GMOs require less fertilizers, less pesticides, than other varieties.
3. GMOs have higher yield, and tissue culture is a lot more productive in plant propagation than the traditional method of propagation through seeds and the like.
-- Nonoy Oplas