KMP Vows To Intensify Protest Against GMO's; Supports French Peasant Leader
March 16, 2001
Reference: RAFAEL MARIANO, Chairperson
The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP-Peasant Movement of the Philippines) on Friday vowed to intensify protest actions against profit-thirsty agro-chemical transnational corporations (TNCs) and their planned field testing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the Philippines.
The KMP statement was issued a day after a court in the southern French town of Montpellier handed down a 10-month suspended jail sentence against French anti-globalization campaigner JosÃˆ BovÃˆ. The French activist farmer was accused of deliberately destroying 3,000 genetically modified rice plants in protest to their nefarious effects on consumers and farmers.
KMP Chair Rafael Mariano, who last year delivered a moral testimony in defense of BovÃˆ during another trial against him in the French town of Millau, said that the Filipino farmers stand behind JosÃˆ BovÃˆ as one man because they are fighting for a common cause. Ã¬The advance of genetically modified crops is pushed by the giant corporations of the pesticide business because they will rake in super profits. But the farmers of industrialized countries like France and poor countries like ours alike will be victimized as the monopoly control of the poison industry intensifies."
"This profit-thirsty TNCs like Monsanto, Syngenta and Cargill think they can thwart the worldÃs farmers snowballing opposition against GMOs by sending comrade JosÃˆ BovÃˆ behind bars. But nothing can stop the international peasant movement as it is strengthening the international solidarity against greedy agro-chemical TNCs and intensifies the struggle for land and food without poisons," said Mariano, who is also the spokesperson of the International Alliance Against Agrochemical TNCs.
The Philippine peasant leader said that they will step up protest actions against the planned field-testing of so-called "golden rice", genetically modified rice that is rich in vitamin A, bacterial blight resistant (BB) rice and Bt-corn in 32 villages in 6 provinces in the Philippines. According to Mariano, “the Philippine rice industry is experiencing a grave crisis since the liberalization under the World Trade Organization, but this so-called ‘golden rice’ can only make matters worse as it only shines for big business. If only the government would negotiate fair trade agreements and implement genuine land reform, the Philippine farmers could produce more than enough rice and sources of vitamin A and other nutrients.”
The KMP announced their plans to stage protest rallies in front of the National Committee on Bio-Safety of the Philippines (NCBP). Besides, the farmers will also hold mammoth rally on April 4 in front of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on it's 41st anniversary and in front of Monsanto office in Manila during the International Day of Farmers Struggle against GMOs and Patents on April 17. ###
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Peasant Movement of the Philippines URL: http://www.geocities.com/kmp_ph