Biotech Updates

Farmers Voice Should Be Heard, Bt Eggplant Benefits at Stake

February 18, 2011

A Filipino corn farmer expressed regret on the recent intrusion and destruction of an anti-biotech group to Bt eggplant trial site in the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Ms. Rosalie Ellasus, a biotech corn farmer advocate from the province of Pangasinan, called for the group to consider the benefits at stake and hear the side of the farmers when it comes to what is beneficial for them.

She said that such groups need to understand the true needs of the farmers, and should not rashly take actions. Ms. Ellasus also lamented that the anti-biotech groups would not listen to the scientists. "They [the anti-biotech groups] won't listen to what biotech experts have to say. Maybe if they would open their minds, even just once, and see the truth, they would know how these crops really benefit our farmers," she said.

Ms. Ellasus pointed out that biotech farmers, which have been estimated to be already more than 125,000 in the country, cannot be stopped by the groups from cultivating the biotech crops. "They cannot do anything about it because we farmers have already seen the benefits of biotech corn," she said. "Many farmers are already anticipating for the Bt eggplant seeds. The crop is still under research, and it needs to go through the field trials to generate the data. They (the anti-biotech groups) are making our lives more difficult," she said.

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