10 Years of Failure: New film documents struggle of farmers deceived by biotech industry

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: biotech industry, GMOs, Philippine farmers

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(NaturalNews) It has been 10 years since the Philippine government approved the country's first genetically modified (GM) crops for commercial cultivation, and its farmers are now far worse off becauseo f it. In the new documentary film 10 Years of Failure, Farmers Deceived by GM Corn, the farmer advocacy group Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development, or MASIPAG, reveals the plight of GM corn farmers in the Philippines who were hoodwinked by the biotechnology industry and are now suffering from massive debt, poor yields and even starvation as a result.

The 25-minute film, which is available for free viewing on YouTube, was released on so-called "World Food Day," the day that Monsanto and Syngenta were given awards by the World Food Prize Foundation for their abominable transgenic creations. It tells a much different side of the GMO story, one you will probably never hear from the mainstream media or the bought-and-paid-for politicians that go around claiming that genetically engineered foods are the saviors of humanity.

On the contrary, GM crops, and particularly GM corn in the Philippines, has all but destroyed the traditional maize industry in this southeast Asian country. Rather than boost yields, reduce inputs and create crop stabilization as claimed, GM corn in the Philippines has completely ravaged what used to be an industry owned and managed by individual farmers rather than powerful multinational corporations. And the farmers who now realize that they were lied to are having a difficult time escaping the clutches of Big Biotech.

"In the film, GM corn farmers relate how they became indebted because of the rising cost of GM corn seeds and increasing cost and quantity of inputs being used," reads a press release about the film. "The film also share[s] the farmers['] account on the effect of GM corn farming such as emergence of new pests, soil erosion, corn contamination and human and animal health impacts... [and] the difficulty to go back to traditional or organic corn farming because of the loss of traditional seeds and practices replaced by GM corn farming and the effects of neighboring GM corn plantations."

GM corn has turned Philippine farmers into biotech industry slaves

According to the latest available data, there are currently eight approved varieties of single, stacked-trait and pyramided GM corn being grown in the Philippines on some 685,317 hectares of agricultural land. But rather than create prosperity and food independence, this takeover by the chemical industry has essentially enslaved a nation that previously took care of its own food needs without having to rely on profit-driven corporations for seeds and inputs.

"It is quite tragic that on World Food Day, huge agrochemical companies who wrested away farmers' rights on seeds, caused environmental degradation and pollution of our valuable genetic resources are put in high regard, while small and resource-poor farmers who nurtured the seeds and who feed the population are left landless and hungry," says Dr. Chito Medina, MASIPAG's national coordinator, about the travesty.

You won't want to miss this powerful film, which dutifully deconstructs the myth that GMOs are necessary for human sustenance. By exposing this common GMO lie, MASIPAG hopes to redirect the conversation and convince policymakers to take a different route that is truly sustainable: decentralized, biodiversity-based agriculture controlled by the people and for the people.

"Please watch this video and reconsider being straight forward with everyone you know about the health dangers [of] GMOs/Glyphosate," reads a review of the film by "If we don't buy it, they can't sell it, and the farmers won't grow it. Once you watch this video you will see how we will be helping the farmers by facilitating this change."

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