Bacolod City —The Diocese of Bacolod is opposing the
entry of genetically modified (GMO) products into Negros Island,
Bishop Vicente Navarra said on Sunday.
In a statement, Navarra urged the provincial and city governments
to implement “without fear or favor” Provincial
Ordinance No. 007 and City Ordinance No. 485 that ban the entry
of GMO products.
Negros Occidental and Bacolod officials should preserve the
reputation of Negros as the organic food bowl of the Philippines,
he said. “Do not succumb to the pressures exerted by business
The bishop said the hog raisers and poultry associations in
the province should explore other alternatives to meet their
requirements without jeopardizing the environment and the health
of the people.
He also called on the people not to be carried away by the
“demands and vested interest of profit-hungry groups”
and instead, come up with the best method of preserving and
maintaining life as originally intended by God.
Navarra also said the high inputs of fertilizers, pesticides
and heavy mechanization required by GMO crops had devastating
Since the GMO crops are wind-pollinated, small quantities of
pollen travel as far as 0.8 kilometers under suitable conditions
and will likely contaminate non-GMO crops, he said, quoting
a Greenpeace Southeast Asia report.
Navarra said this could result in the destruction of the natural
traits of the native crops, which would ultimately lead to the
destruction of the area's biodiversity.
On claims that the GMO products were safe for human consumption,
the bishop said that experiments done on rats fed with GMO tomatoes
showed that they had developed stomach lesions or died after
two weeks on this diet.
Navarra also debunked the claim that GMO would help address
world hunger and poverty.
Although GMO products have been in existence for more than
two decades, statistics showed that world hunger has not abated,
he said. /Inquirer