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Genetically-Modified Organisms should stay in the lab, says scientist  

November 24, 2012 1:44pm
By SHAIRA F. PANELA

MANILA, PHILIPPINES--Gene modification is not intrinsically malicious, as depicted in quite a few Hollywood movies, but genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should stay inside laboratories, stated gene scientist Tushar Chakraborty Ph. D. in a briefing.

Genetically modified organisms according to World Health Organization (WHO) are "organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally."

"It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species," added WHO.

Chakraborty serves as the principal scientist of the Gene Regulation Laboratory of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology.

Last November 21, in Quezon City, environmental organization Greenpeace held a briefing on why GMOs are unsafe. In the press conference, scientist Chakraborty discussed about the studies on GMOs that he is involved with.

"Genetical engineering is called 'disruptive technology,'" said Chakraborty, adding that the effects of GMOs are irreversible.
 
"GM technology is a very bad technology...Technology should not just be judged based on science," added Chakraborty.

In India, their Supreme Court issued a 10-year moratorium against GM crops because of their harmful effects.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry has approved several GMOs for importation, as both food and animal feed.
 
DA released Administrative Order No. 8 in 2002 providing rules and regulation on importation and use of plants and plant products "derived from use of modern biotechnology."

"We're not against GMOs per se. But they should be kept inside laboratories and should not be used for food production," said Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace Sustainable Agriculture campaigner.

Greenpeace, together with Chakraborty, said in the press conference that traditional and organic farming still remains as the best way to produce food in the Philippines.

"When we talk about GMOs, we're not talking about the science of creating food but we're talking about the very basis of our existence: food," said Ocampo.

"Hindi ito ang kasagutan sa problema natin sa food security," added Ocampo.—KDM, GMA News



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