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MANILA - The international environmental group Greenpeace is calling for greater scrutiny of the country's genetically-modified organism (GMO) approval system as it welcomed a Supreme Court decision to grant a Writ of Kalikasan to suspend field trials of GMO eggplants.
"We welcome this as a positive development: GMOs and GMO field trials clearly violate every Filipino’s constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology, and their invasion into our fields and our diets must be stopped," Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said.
He said the High Court recognized the flawed GMO approval system, "which has never rejected any GMO application."
"This is an outrage and such a regulatory system which clearly disregards public good must be scrapped," he said.
The group cited independent scientific studies which provide clear evidence that GMOs such as Bt eggplant, as well as Bt corn, can negatively impact the liver, kidneys, or blood when ingested.
Last April 26, Greenpeace, along with other private petitioners, asked the Supreme Court for a Writ of Kalikasan and Writ of Continuing Mandamus against GMO field trials.
The petition seeks to immediately stop the field trials of Bt eggplant. It also puts into question the flawed government regulatory process for approving GMOs, and highlights the need for a genuine and comprehensive process of informing and consulting the public.
The petitioners also claimed that despite the scientific doubt that surrounds GMO food crops, the Philippines has never rejected any GMO application, approving, since 2002, a total of 67 GMOs for importation, consumption and/or propagation.
"We hope that this Writ of Kalikasan will compel the DA (Department of Agriculture) and GMO regulators to review their agenda independent of pressures and influence of multinational GMO corporations," Ocampo said.