Sari-saring Solusyon, Sama-samang Aksyon para Tutulan ang GM Yellow Rice

October 27, 2021

by MASIPAG National Office

GM Yellow Rice, PhilRice’s Failed Rice Project

On November 7, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), a government corporate entity under the Department of Agriculture, will be celebrating its 36th anniversary since its establishment in 1985. Being one of the proponents of Golden Rice, or GM Yellow Rice, PhilRice prides itself in its efforts to make the Philippines the first country to approve for its commercial propagation. The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry granted biosafety permits despite overwhelming public resistance based on GM Yellow Rice’s negligible beta-carotene content, lack of independent safety tests, contamination risk, the potential to cause stunted plant growth, and opposition to techno-fix and market-based solutions peddled by corporations.

PhilRice, along with local proponents and collaborators, continues to turn a blind eye to the possible negative impacts of GM Yellow Rice while proudly carrying the corporate interests behind this technology. Syngenta-ChemChina, the agrochemical TNC behind the Golden Rice project, is among the Big 4 TNC kingpins controlling over 76% of the global seed and pesticides market. Disguised as a “humanitarian service”, these corporations managed to deceive and collude with governments and intergovernmental institutions to laud the project for its “service” to humanity as a “viable solution” to address Vitamin A deficiency. To ensure that the project pushes through, the project was awarded a  $28 million dollar funding from philanthro-capitalist institution Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for further development in the Philippines and Bangladesh. 

These corporate giants are known to promote solutions inappropriate for poor farmers, eliminate sustainable agriculture alternatives, and take control over genes, seeds, and knowledge in order to accumulate profit. For a local public agency such as PhilRice to allow unwanted, useless, and profit-making technologies, such as the GM Yellow Rice, is not only unjust but traitorous to small, resource-poor farmers and Filipino consumers. Already, zinc and iron GM rice and thirty other GM rice products are in the pipeline, with Golden Rice serving as the Trojan Horse to lure the people into social acceptance and false security

Support various, locally available, and farmer-developed solutions to malnutrition! Fight for Just, Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Food Systems!

More than resisting the release of Golden Rice, however, we are pushing for safer, better, and healthier alternatives to addressing VAD and other malnutrition issues. VAD and other malnutrition problems can be mitigated and addressed by having a diverse diet. Nutrition does not need to be an expensive commodity, nor rely on advanced technology. We believe that instead of pushing Golden Rice and biofortify crops through genetic modification, governments should promote biodiversity in farms and on tables by supporting safe, healthy, and sustainable food production. We are calling on governments to pay attention to the needs of our food producers, including facilitating access to lands to till, appropriate technologies, and an agriculture policy that will promote and uphold the people’s right to food and the nations’ food sovereignty. We cannot let these technologies reach our farmlands, markets, and plates. 


For this campaign, we aim to:

  • Gather the broadest support to pressure the Department of Agriculture to revoke the Golden Rice’s biosafety permits and oppose all forms of its further experimentation, use, and commercialization in the country;
  • Highlight biodiversity and farmer-led food systems as apt and genuine solutions to hunger and malnutrition by popularizing farmer and community approaches to help improve health and nutrition in localities.

Activities and Action Steps

The Stop Golden Rice Network will be conducting, supporting, and calling for both online and on-ground activities in the form of protest actions, discussions, and any other activity that will fulfill our objectives. Below is an initial list of activities as part of our lineup leading to the culminating activity on November 8.

Support local activities from networks!

For organizations planning to stage and include their own activities as part of our lineup, kindly send your activity’s concept note to

Revoke the Permit! Raise your opposition to concerned public agencies!

Recently, farmers, consumer groups, former public servants, and civil society leaders have formally filed an administrative appeal calling to revoke the biosafety permits for the use, commercialization, and further experimentation of GM Yellow Rice in the country. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has yet to decide on the matter, however, field tests and other efforts to commercialize the GM Yellow Rice are already underway. With this, we call upon everyone to send letters of appeal to the DA calling to revoke these permits and to other proponents to stop pushing GM Yellow Rice in the country

  • Here is a sample letter you or your organization/network may use as a guide:
  • Below are the mailing addresses of the mentioned agencies and other proponents of GM Yellow Rice:
  • You may send these letters on or before November 8. We also request that you or your organization notify the Stop Golden Rice Network secretariat once accomplished. 

Flood online newsfeeds!

We also encourage network members and allies to show their support by posting on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) photos with fan signs/streamers placed on farms, statements of support, creative gimmicks, and other activities.

  • Pose to Oppose! #GMRiceTutulan
    • Post your best “Pose to Oppose” photo with these calls on November 6! Use the hashtag #GMRiceTutulan
      • Revoke the Permit! No to GM Yellow Rice!
      • Defend Our Rice! Fight for our Rights!
      • Bill Gates, Hands Off Our Plates!
      • Resist Agrochemical TNCs!
      • Biodiversity, not Biofortification!
      • Fight for Just, Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Food Systems!
    • Ready-to-print copy of fan signs prepared by the secretariat:
  • Post about the #SariSaringSolusyon to address Vitamin A Deficiency and Malnutrition by:
    • Showcasing Vitamin A-rich vegetables and other crops;
    • Posting photos, cooking demonstrations, or recipes of dishes using locally available Vitamin A-rich vegetables;
    • Creating write-ups about the importance of agrobiodiversity and diet diversification;
  • We request that the contents be posted on or before November 8. Use the hashtags: #SariSaringSolusyon & #GMRiceTutulan. 

Participate in our culminating activity!

On November 8, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, we will stage a culminating activity to highlight the broad support and provide updates to the public with regards to our campaign in opposing the commercialization of Golden Rice in the Philippines. In this activity, we will be having discussions, presentations, and solidarity messages from several leaders and advocates.

The activity will be held online via Zoom and Facebook Livestream. You may register here:

Our calls

  • Sari-saring Solusyon, Sama-samang Aksyon para Tutulan ang GM Yellow Rice!
  • Revoke the Permit! No to GM Yellow Rice!
  • Defend Our Rice! Fight for our Rights!
  • Bill Gates, Hands Off Our Plates!
  • Resist Agrochemical TNCs!
  • Biodiversity, not Biofortification!
  • Fight for Just, Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Food Systems!