Search News

    News Archive

  You are here: Home >> News >> North Cot environmental coalition hails SC ruling vs Bt talong

North Cot environmental coalition hails SC ruling vs Bt talong
by Alex D. Lopez
25-May-2012 Davao Today
View Source

“The SC ruling is the people’s triumph.” — Ramer Tandoy, secretary-general of Integrated People’s Coalition against Environmental Plunder

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines — A coalition group composed of farmers’ organizations, environmental groups and other concerned sectors here welcomed the Supreme Court’s (SC) issuance of the Writ of Kalikasan to stop the field trials of the controversial Bacillus thuringiensis eggplant or Bt talong (Bt eggplant).

Bt talong, a genetically modified crop introduced in the Philippines is also called Fruit-and-Shoot Borer-resistant talong in India. The Writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy intended for the protection of one’s constitutional right to a healthy environment.

“The SC ruling is the people’s triumph,” Ramer Tandoy, secretary-general of the Integrated People’s Coalition against Environmental Plunder, said in an e-emailed statement.

In an en banc ruling dated May 2, 2012, the SC granted the petition filed by Greenpeace and other environmental groups to stop the field testing of Bt talong.

“It’s a positive ruling in favor of the Filipino people’s constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology,” Francis Morales, secretary general of environmental alliance Panalipdan, said, adding, “GMO (genetically modified organism) must be stopped because it does not address food security for the Filipinos.”

Respondents of said petition were the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Foundation, Inc., UP Mindanao (UPMin) Foundation, Inc. and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAABA)-Southeast Asia Center.

Tandoy, also an advocacy point person of Masipag (Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura)-North Cotabato, urged the management of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan town to implement the SC ruling. He also challenged the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of North Cotabato’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Kabacan’s Sangguniang Bayan to withdraw the resolutions they previously passed endorsing the field testing of Bt talong at the USM.

“As government officials, they are bound to execute the SC order. As public servants they should prioritize the welfare of the people, not the interest of big corporations engaged in the business of seeds, chemicals and the promoters of the Bt talong project,” Tandoy said.

Tandoy added, there’s no more legal basis for the ISAABA-Southeast Asia Center, UPLB Foundation, Inc., UPMin Foundation, Inc., BPI, FPA, DENR’s EMB, other proponents and related agencies to continue their Bt talong project after the SC released its order.

Last April, both the UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture-Biotechnology Information Center confirmed that Bt talong had already been planted in the field testing site at the USM-Kabacan.

The planting was materialized after endorsements were granted last year by the local legislative body of Kabacan and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of North Cotabato. Likewise, a memorandum of agreement was also signed between the Bt talong proponents and the management of USM. The actual field testing was also witnessed by some officials of DA-XII.

Prior to the actual field testing, farmers and environmental groups here had declared their opposition to Bt talong citing the threats it pose to human health, saying, it can negatively impact the liver, kidneys or blood when ingested. They also exposed the project’s damaging effects to the environment particularly referring to the dangers it pose to biodiversity when planted in open fields.

Greenpeace said the Philippine government has approved a total of 67 applications for GMO importation, consumption and propagation since 2002. It cited the massive entry of Bt corn that is already approved for planting and actually being eaten nowadays by Filipinos despite the serious questions raised regarding their safety.

“Greenpeace believes the granting of the Writ of Kalikasan is a recognition of the threats GMOs pose to human health and the environment,” Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace-Southeast Asia campaigner, said.

Ocampo added, the highest court of the land “has given hope to Filipinos as its decision now puts into the spotlight the country’s flawed GMO approval system which has never rejected any GMO application, allowing dangerous GMO crops to be eaten and planted by Filipinos.”

Panalipdan’s Morales said GMO is diametrically opposed to organic farming or sustainable agriculture their group is pushing.

“GMO is but a scheme for monopoly capitalist control of the country’s food system to rake in megaprofits to the detriment of people’s health and environmental rights,” Morales said, adding, “We must be vigilant because the Aquino government is hell-bent on promoting GMO upon the dictates of US and its transnational agrochemical companies. (With a report from Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/

  Rice Academy Rises In Ecija
  UPLB to produce 100 tons of fungus fertilizer for NGP
  Biotech Seminar held in Naga City
  COMMENTARY: Who’s afraid of the GMO debate?
  PhilRice exec urges farmers to think green, plant smart
  Pro-GMO scientists are against chemical pesticides, too
  Philippines await Supreme Court decision on GM eggplant tests
  North Cot environmental coalition hails SC ruling vs Bt talong
  MEDIA RELEASE: University of Southern Mindanao affirms Bt eggplant field trials as a scientific research
  Healthy, Risk-Free Biotech Crops Pushed
  Biotech coalition is 10 years old
  Legislator: Bt eggplant is safe
  Bt eggplant field trials to continue
  COMMENTARY: The fuss about the eggplant
  Bt eggplant safe for humans, environment - study
  Savants dispute grounds for issuing kalikasan writ
  Government scientists won't stop field-testing of BT eggplant
  Scientists back field trials of Bt eggplant
  Field trial of 'BT talong' defended
  Savants hail SC’s issuing writ on Bt eggplant
  UPLB chancellor upholds R&D of Bt eggplant
  Bt eggplant a safer alternative to excessive chemical pesticides
  Controversial eggplant reaches Supreme Court
  Safety checks in place
  MEDIA RELEASE: UPLB Chancellor upholds research and development of Bt eggplant
  MEDIA RELEASE: Experts underscore compelling need for alternative Bt eggplant technology; Academicians and government continue to support biotech researches
  MEDIA RELEASE: SEARCA-ISAAA-UPLBCDC publish study on adoption and uptake pathways of biotech crops in the Philippines
  Scientists worried over move to stop Bt eggplant field tests
  Philippines Hosting Asian Biotechnology Conference
  Scientists urge SC to allow continued trial of Bt eggplant
  NAST supports Bt eggplant research, confident that SC will side for science
  Eggplant war: Scientists defend GMO
  Pro-Bt eggplant scientists buck Kalikasan writ
  Biotech targets RM4b FDIs in 2012-2013
  Summit must focus on food security
  GMOs in Philippines impress farmers
  Biotechnology: New frontier for scientists
  Africa: Biosafety Regulators Urged to Strengthen Links
  African biotechnology stakeholders asked to ensure sound scientific evidence
  Expert calls for expedition of the implementation of Biosafety Law
  United Kingdom: Anti-GM protesters kept from tearing up wheat crop by police
  Monsanto Introduces Ag Biological Technology
  IFIC 2012 Survey Reveals Most Americans Support Existing Food Biotech Labeling Policy, Favor Sustainable Food Production Practices
  APEC Press Release: Biotech solutions to improve food security, advise academics and industry
  Global economic and environmental benefits of GM crops continue to rise
  More news..

SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center
UPLB Campus 4031, Los Baños, Laguna, PHILIPPINES
Telephone +6349 536 2290 ext. 406 / 169 / 135
Fax +6349 536 4105

SEARCA BIC is one of the biotechnology information nodes of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications Global Knowledge Center (ISAAA KC) and hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). It was officially established in 2000 to address the needs of the region for a highly credible, sound and factual biotechnology information center in the Southeast Asian region accessible to various stakeholders.

Empowerment through shared information.

Quick Links: About Us     |     Our Activities     |     Events & Announcements     |     Media Releases     |     News     |    Publications &  Information Resources     |      Photobank     |     Other Resources

Contact Us         |     Sign-up to SEARCA BIC E-news Service (e-mail newsletter)

© 2000 - 2012 SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center. All Rights Reserved.