The House Bill 6454 is authored by Hon. Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis partylis representative) and concurrent national chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
The filing of this bill does not mean that the author is against the use of science and technology in food and agriculture. On the contrary, the proponent firmly believes that science should serve the people and society, and not of the few. Science and technological advancement should not cause harm and damage to both people and the environment. The known and suspected environmental and health risks related to unchecked race to embrace the unproven technology of genetic engineering should not be underestimated. Other countries have acted through legislation to protect their citizens and environments from the threat of genetically engineered crops and food. Clearly, we must do the same.
Genetic engineering in food and agriculture is not the answer to overcome the crisis of hunger and malnutrition today. The answer lies in our structural changes in the access to land, food and productive resources and political power, combined with ecological technologies via farmer-led research and development as well as harnessing indigenous knowledge and participatory technology development across sectors including the crucial role of women in agriculture.