> Starting April 22, I and several colleagues will be holding an
> indefinite hunger strike in front of the Department of Agriculture at
> the Quezon Memorial Circle, to ask the government to stop the
> distribution of a genetically-modified variety of corn seeds called Bt
> corn. The seeds are scheduled for commercial distribution
> nationwide by Monsanto Corp. starting May or June this year.
> Bt corn produces its own built-in poison to kill a pest called the corn
> borer. If we eat Bt corn, we also ingest the poison. What is worse,
> this ability to produce a built-in poison is hereditary; it is passed on
> to all subsequent generations of the corn, and can also be passed
> on to native varieties through cross-pollination. This will definitely
> happen because corn is wind-pollinated.
> We have tried everything legally possible in the past five years to
> stop this corn variety from being distributed, in vain. The
> government has approved its commercialization. Once widespread
> distribution and planting starts sometime May or June, the
> irreversible spread of this poison-bearing corn will begin, and
> there's very little we can do about it.
> The media and the public have not paid much attention to this
> issue because of their preoccupation with other important issues
> like the Iraq war and SARS. So we now have to go through
> extraordinary measures to call attention to this matter and stop the
> distribution of this corn variety.
> Our principles do not allow us to engage in violence, which is often
> the last resort of desperate victims faced with an insensitive
> government conniving with a criminal corporation and showing little
> regard for people's livelihood, health or life. Very often too, such
> violence gets the government's attention and forces it to listen and
> But that option is not open to us, so this indefinite hunger strike is
> our last resort.
> Please pray for the success of our efforts: that the media and the
> public will finally take notice and the show concern, that the
> government will listen, and that we can keep Monsanto from
> irreversibly poisoning our farms and our food supply.
> Those who want to help can visit us in front of the Department of
> Agriculture, where we will camp out for the duration of the protest.
> Regards to all,
> P.S. My access to email might become irregular and limited by Apr.
> Roberto Verzola
> Philippine Greens
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