Inside out

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Restaurants join Greenpeace campaign, to serve GMO-free rice

Posted by Abi Kwok on August 27, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 16:43:00 08/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Four upscale restaurants have committed themselves to serving only rice free of genetically modified organisms (GMO) as part of a campaign launched Wednesday by the environmentalist group Greenpeace.

Fish and Co., Italiani’s, TGI Friday’s, and Flapjacks, are the first restaurants to sign up for the campaign to protect rice against contaminants, Greenpeace said in a statement.

At a press conference, the four establishments assured patrons their rice will always be GMO-free.

“Rice is our country’s most important food and is an integral part of our life and culture. But few Filipinos are aware that our staple food is in danger of GMO contamination,” said Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Genetic Engineering Campaigner.

“The restaurant campaign we are launching…is not only an awareness drive…but it also serves to assure consumers that the rice they are eating is free from these risky organisms,” Ocampo said.

GMOs are plants or animals whose DNA has been manipulated to accommodate genes from entirely different species.

Greenpeace contends that GMO-contaminated rice has been allowed into the country and is being sold in some markets.

The restaurants participating in the campaign will be putting up “I love my rice GMO-free” posters in all their outlets.

“Our participation is consistent with our Going Green initiatives and our company’s people-centered philosophy, and our commitment extends beyond this campaign, toward to conserving and preserving our environment,” a Greenpeace statement quoted Lisa Ronquillo, Bistro Group marketing director, of which Fish and Co. is part, as saying.


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