In Thailand, protests are being held regarding a pro-GMO that has been approved by the country’s cabinet. The new Biosafety Bill will uphold the legalized use of potentially harmful genetically modified organisms in plants and animals.
Spokesperson of the Thai government Sansern Kaewkamnerd met with the representatives of 122 different networks of citizens, farmers and businesses on Wednesday. During the meeting, he submitted a petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha.
According to Sarsen, genetically modified seeds and plants are being used in Thailand. With no laws put into place, it is difficult to hold someone accountable for the misuse of GMOs. As a result, the Thai cabinet approved legislation that ensures the safe usage of GMOs, while also establishing clear measures of inspection.
The bill has since been passed on to the Council of the State for a review and possible changes to the legislation. The Council of the State will propose any new amendments to the bill. These new amendments could be tabled in the National Legislative Assembly. From there, the NLA might establish a committee to further review the legislation by allowing both advocates and opponents of GMOs to present their arguments.
Sarsen said, “There are both supporters and opponents of legislation. If we cannot begin a process to hear from both sides, we cannot move forward. So those opposing the issue should understand that the government will take into account your information. If the legislation is not good, then I believe the NLA will not pass it into law.”
Already, the bill has been protested in multiple provinces throughout the country. Protesters have said that the bill would have an adverse effect on farmers, consumers and businesses. They have also asked the government to establish a committee to improve the bill before it is passed on to the NLA.
Meanwhile, other protest groups have sent similar petitions to the Thai government. Indeed there is much concern on the impact of GMO crops and the effect that they have on animals, the environment and overall biodiversity.