800 Protesters Uproot BT Corn in Mindanao


(MASIPAG is an indigenous alliance of Farmers and

Scientists fighting GM crops in the Philippines)


About 800 farmers, church people, students and other members of the civil society group bravely stormed Monsanto’s experimental field in southern Philippines uprooting all Bt-Corn plants this morning (Aug 29, 2001).

The “operation bunot (uproot)” took only five to 10 minutes leaving two police officers helpless. No untoward incident happened.

“Faster! Faster!” were the shouts as the protesters hurriedly uprooted the genetically engineered corn in the 1,700-square meter experimental field of Monsanto’s Agroseed in Maltana village, Tamapakan town of South Cotabato province, Mindanao.

Around 100 indigenous Lumads also took part in the protest action, the first of its kind in the country’s history of GMO protest.

Agroseed is currently conducting a multilocation open-field testing of Bt-Corn in around 30 sites in Luzon and Mindanao amid cries of protests from various sectors in the country.

In 1999, Monsanto ignored multisectoral opposition, including a series of City Council resolutions, in General Santos City in Mindanao and pushed through with the first open-field experiments of genetically engineered crop in the country.

Bt-Corn contains gene from soil bacterium bacillus thuringiensis, a toxin that makes this transgenic crop produce its own insecticide to beat off corn borer.

{MASIPAG News &Views is an occasional information release of the Farmer Scientist Partnership for Development. This report, in whole or in part, could be freely published}


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