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Monday, January 27, 2014

GMO Advocates Seeks Supreme Court Relief

A group of advocating the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse the Court of Appeals (CA) decision which permanently bans the conduct field trials of eggplant due to risks it poses to human health and the environment. In a petition filed before the SC last Friday, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAA) insisted that Bt eggplant is food safe and environment safe. The group maintains that field trials for Bt. eggplant had already been completed, terminated and proven successful even before the CA ruling. In a ruling issued in September of 2013, the CA denied with finality the motions for reconsideration field by respondents led by Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources- Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) seeking the reversal of it's decision issued on May 17, 2013. In the May of 2013 decisions, the appellate court issued a Writ of Kalikasan ordering the DENR and other respondents in the case the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority of the Dept. of Agriculture, UP Los Banos Foundation Inc. UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. and the Int'l Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications-Southeast Asia Center to permanently "cease and desist" from further conducting field trials of Bt. Talong (eggplant) in the country. The appellate court held that the Bt. Talong field trials violate the people's constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology. Aside from the issuance of the Writ of Kalikasan, the CA also directed the respondents to rehabilitate and restore the environment affected by the field testing. Bt eggplant, according to ISAAA, has even been found to contribute to environmental sustainability, along with the raising farmer's yield and income by around 50%.            
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