SC issues writ of kalikasan vs 'Frankenstein talong'

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2012 11:24 AM | Updated as of May 14 2012 08:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a writ of kalikasan on the commercial production of genetically modified (GMO) eggplants.

In an en banc ruling dated May 2, 2012, the high court granted petitioner Greenpeace, et al's plea against respondents Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bureau of Plant Industry and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority of the Department of Agriculture (DA), University of the Philippines (UP) Los Banos Foundation, Inc., UP Mindanao Foundation, Inc. and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications-Southeast Asia Center.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy designed for the protection of one's constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Petitioners assailed GMOs, claiming these pose danger to human health. They are advocating GMO-free food production "based on principles of sustainability and protection of biodiversity."

The petition argued that the GMO Bt talong was supposed to obtain commercial approval by the end of 2011. However, this did not materialize due to the absence of the required field trials in 4 areas, they added.

The field tests are still on the planning stage, and will push through, the petition further pointed out , and “will expose the Philippines to GMO contamination of more than 500 varieties of eggplant and other wild and weedy relatives.”

Petitioners claimed a 90-day laboratory test allegedly showed signs of toxicity in the liver and kidneys of the test subjects.

Petitioners pointed out that in  Davao City, Bt eggplant trials being conducted by the UP Mindanao Foundation was halted in Dec. 2010 as a "precautionary action."

The other petitioners include Leo Avila of Davao City Agriculturist, Atty. Maria Paz Luna, former Senator Orly Mercado and Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez.