Davao City – The Go Organic Davao City, a network of organic farming practitioners and their supporters, is pushing for the passage of the GMO Ban Ordinance in Davao City.
“We need to protect the integrity of organic agriculture in Davao City”., said Tina Delima , Officer –in-charge of SIMCAARRD. “While the principles of our local Organic Agriculture ordinance has explicitly stated that organic crops cannot co-exist with genetically modified crops, we need to ensure the protection of the agricultural biodiversity of the city from future attempts to plant GMO crops here in the city.”, she said.
The Go Organic Davao City network had been at the foreground of the protests against the recent attempts to revive the field testing of the controversial Bt eggplant in Davao City.
Councilor Bernard Al-ag is calling for a committee hearing this February 15, 2012 to discuss Councilor Pilar Braga’s proposal to enact an Ordinance banning the entry, importation, introduction , planting, growing, selling and trading of Genetically Modified Organisms within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City. GoDC members are expected to attend.
If eventually approved as an ordinance, Davao City will join a select league of municipalities and cities which are GMO-free and are poised to take charge of the growing demand for organic products domestically and internationally.
“Currently, the growing market for organic products is expanding at 10-30% per annum.”, said Ling Castro, Policy Advocacy Officer of the Interface Development Interventions. “Davao City can easily tap this market especially since it is also branding itself as a Green Davao , where our lifestyle is sustainable, ecologically safe and healthy .”, she pointed out.
But more than economics, the mainstreaming of organic farming is also an issue of health.
“ International studies have indicated that organic crops contain 40% more antioxidants which lessen the risk of heart disease and cancer compared to pesticide-intensive crops.”, said Castro. “By ensuring that no GMO crops will pollute our agricultural fields in the future, not only can we assure our food security but also the healthy quality of our produce.”, she said.
At present, Bohol, Mindoro and Negros islands have already declared themselves GMO-free. Elsewhere, municipalities and cities have begun to shift towards organic agriculture by passing local ordinances mainstreaming organic agriculture and outlawing genetically modified crops and products.
Last November 2011, President Aquino had also reiterated the support of his administration to the mainstreaming of organic agriculture by saying that is poverty alleviation and hunger mitigation strategy at a national conference on organic agriculture. (#)