Asian Farmers Network Formed
Calls to Stop Golden Rice Strengthened
Quezon City, Philippines – The Asian Farmers Conference on Golden Rice successfully concluded with the formation of an Asia-wide alliance of farmers and NGOs which vowed to strengthen the campaign against the field trials and commercialization of Golden Rice. Farmers and NGOs from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Japan joined the network along with farmers’ groups from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the Philippines.
Issues surrounding the controversial Golden Rice were lively discussed during the three-day conference, such as its impacts on health, biodiversity and the environment. Representatives from the various countries shared their experiences with GMOs — like the Philippines, they have several GM crops propagated, field tested or researched without proper safety precaution and participative consultation from stakeholders. Farmers and consumers in these countries have likewise launched campaigns to stop the spread of GMOs.
The “Stop Golden Rice” farmers’ network aims to facilitate information and skills exchange, as well as provide support for local and regional initiatives.