Muslim leader: Avoid GM food
2.Farmers: Don't back down
1.Muslim leader: Avoid GM food
Daily Star (Philippines), July 14 2009
Muslim leader, Imam Omar Betita yesterday reiterated his group's stand on avoidance of genetically-modified products as the debate on what will become of the ordinance to ban such materials in Negros Occidental goes on.
"It is proper for local government units to fairly implement the GMO ban. And make sure of the implementation, that there should be no exceptions," Betita, head of the DAR AL-DHIKR Islamic Call and Guidance Center in Bacolod City, said in a letter to Gov. Isidro Zayco.
Betita, who is also the chairperson of the National Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines Inc. in Region 6, had earlier upheld the Islamic rule for Muslims to avoid using or consuming products that are not proven to be clearly "halal" or "haram".
He said that GM food is neither halal nor haram because the scientific community is divided on whether they are safe for human consumption and are free from environmental hazards.
Under Islamic law, halal are products that are allowed to be used or consumed while haram are those that are not.
Betita said that exploiting technology, which may give rise to unexpected substances that could be damaging to health and the environment should be avoided.
“Until the scientific community has reached a clean consensus on its safe consumption and clearly would not pose danger to environment, patronage of such GM products may indeed have to be avoided,” Betita said.*PP
2.Farmers group urge SP: Don't back down
By Bobby J. Mahadali
The News Today, July 9 2009
BACOLOD CITY -- Multi-sectoral groups in the province led by MASIPAG, a network of farmers, scientists and non-government organizations that practice sustainable agriculture, staged a rally at the Provincial Capitol grounds yesterday to urge the Provincial Government not to back down on the implementation of the ordinance banning genetically modified organisms (GMO) products here.
The protest action is response to the move of the poultry and hog raisers in the province seeking for a moratorium in the implementation of the ordinance.
"We, the farmers are strongly supporting the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental in upholding a safe and healthy life and environment. We laud the province's declaration of organic promotion in 2006, and the ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO) is a significant step towards achieving that status. However, this is now being threatened by the move to overrun the Ordinance banning GMOs to accommodate the businesses of livestock companies," the group said in a statement.
They have called on Gov. Isidro Zayco and members of the Provincial Board to continue the implementation of the ordinance. They claimed that the ordinance “will truly affirm and strengthen the province's status as an organic province.”
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Vice Governor Emilio "Dino" Yulo III said Ordinance 007 is still in effect despite the review being undertaken by the five lead Committees in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The council only crafts the Ordinance and the enforcement of such belongs to the Executive, the vice governor said.
Earlier, the Negros Occidental Commercial Hog Raisers Association, Alliance of Hog Raisers of Negros Occidental and Negros Occidental Poultry Association called for a moratorium on the implementation of the ordinance which they claim would kill the poultry and hog industry in the province.
Said groups claim that they are badly affected by the ordinance as they are incurring P1.8 million a day of additional cost because of the banning of GMO corn.