North Cotabato bans GMO rice varieties

Kidapawan City – Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in North Cotabato approved Wednesday the banning of all Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) varieties of rice in marketplaces of the province.

The ban came after the passage of SP Ordinance No. 2015-14-005, which directs the promotion and implementation of organic agriculture in the province on efforts to conserve biodiversity of crop growth, particularly rice and corn produce.

“This is to protect the welfare of our farmers as well as the health of our constituents in the province,” said North Cotabato 1st District Board Member Loreto Cabaya Jr., concurrent chair of the SP Committee on Agriculture.

Cabaya said North Cotabatot is the second province in the country to ban the GMO variety, next to Misamis Oriental.

He noted that GMO rice varieties have not been fully supported by many as safe for consumption.

The GMO process involves the altering of the genetic growth of rice through scientific and engineering methods.

Organisms that have been genetically modified include microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals.

Cabaya said North Cotabato is currently the biggest exporter of brown and red organic rice in the country, with rice yields flourishing in vast farmlands of Makilala and M’lang municipalities./PNA/FFC/NYP/J.A. Tabugoc