Farmers and different organizations from Asian countries are protesting against the introduction of genetically engineered rice in to Asia and they wanted to have ban on these genetically engineered rice. The protests are collectively organized by 17 Asian organizations.
Farmers health and agricultural sustainability civil societies are not happy with this genetically engineered crops as they feel that these crops will have an adverse impact on the environment and moreover there is no guarantee that the same vigor and quality of rice production will be maintained by the genetically engineered rice.
The health and agricultural society presented a declaration for ban on Genetically Engineered rice in Asia to the Food and Agricultural Organization Headquarters in Bangkok. The theme of this year's World Food Day sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is "Agriculture and intercultural dialogue - celebrating the contribution of different cultures to world agriculture". They also presented a collection of rice varieties to the FAO, demonstrating the importance of maintaining rice diversity.
Expert views from different Asian countries - ban on GE rice:
South East Asia:
Varoonvarn svangsopakul, Green Peace Southeast Asia on his statement said, "Rice is the world's most important staple food crop and we simply cannot allow a small number of biotechnology companies and GE scientists to determine the future of rice development. GE rice is not a solution to world hunger. It poses unacceptable risks to health and the environment, as well as to people's livelihoods."
Suman Sahai, Green Peace Campaigner India said, "GE rice poses threats to the center of origin and diversity of rice in Asia, as well as the cultural diversity of rice-growing communities across the region and the introduction of GE rice is contradictory to the theme of this year's World Food Day celebrations."
Suman Sahai also said, ""Introducing GM rice in India which is the cradle of rice, the land from where rice originated and in other countries of Asia is a reckless and irresponsible act." Sahai expressed that the whole world is aware of the failure of BT cotton and also its adverse reaction which caused serious health damage to the rats which fed on these plants. Even genetically modified Potatoes and Tomatoes were not so beneficially and they did not show any difference between the unmodified and genetically modified in terms of both quality and quantity.
Paul Borja, SEARICE, Manila said, "The real way forward for sustainable agriculture and solution for hunger is through the protection and use of biodiversity rather than genetic engineering."
Palash Baral from the Dhaka-based UBINIG (Unnayan Bikalper Nitinirdharoni Gobeshona) said, "Bangladesh farmers have a long tradition of maintaining local rice diversity and they are resisting Syngenta's move to introduce Golden Rice."
Supanee Taneewut, Thailand said, "With breeding and growing local rice varieties, Thailand farmers are able to enjoy nutritious food and stabilise their income."
Source: Indo-Asian News Service