Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SusAg advocates flag alert over 
Herbicide health, GMO concerns

PASAY CITY, Manila November 10, (PIA)—Apart from the question of what chemical herbicides are doing in organic province Bohol specifically along the roadside demonstrations farms from Bilar to Dagohoy, sustainable agriculture (SusAg) initiators also ask, didn’t people know what how dangerous these are?

Picking on the health risks posed by herbicides being tested in the farms beside the national highway has Boholano promoters of organic agriculture crying in alarm. 

Farmers for sustainable agriculture in Bohol have noticed the signs: weeds in the rice paddies in these mentioned areas are dying, and the paddy feature the names of at least three herbicides which are glyphosate.

Herbicides like Roundup, Mower, Tekweed are openly tested along the highways, showcasing the exact opposite of what Bohol’s organic agriculture direction, pointed out professor Jose Travero, of the Bohol Island State University (BISU).

For herbicides to work, the trick is to genetically engineer seeds to grow food crops, like rice, so that they become immune to the high doses of herbicides that would normally take-out the weeds. 

That act of taking in these herbicides alone tell that that rice seeds planted in these farms are already genetically modified, one that goes against the anti-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) ordinance.

Bohol Nature Conservation Society (BONACONSO) former executive director Zenaida Darunday has a bigger problem than that. 

She said glyphosate use has been linked with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), likely due to its disruptive capacity to the functions of the thyroid hormones, alzheimer’s disease due to oxidative stress and neural cell death. 

Other than this, the same category of herbicides cause birth defects in mothers infants exposed to it, development, autism, a host of other fatal diseases and is an infamously tagged carcinogenic, adds Zen Darunday. 

The herbicide is also applied to farms along the roadsides, unnecessarily exposing children and mothers, Travero cited alarmed at the potential risks of the product which has been tagged by the World Health Organization. 

On this, advocates want the authorities to look at this as they wanted to see if a violation is committed with the demonstration farms just a few feet away from highways and populated busy road networks. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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