News & Archives

Front?Page News Philippine?News Domestic?Workers Seafarers?News OFW?Journalism OFW/Migration?News Internet?Security Ressie?Reyes UK/Irish?Immigration Mindanao?Cross Archived?News Enviroment Migration?Advisors Advertise Property?News Foreclosure?News Contact Kalayaan Missing?Persons Humor OrbitRemit I?Remit Migration?Lawyers Majestic?College Bison?UK Scandals About?Us Embassy?News Savory?Recipes 1 Dessert?Recipes 1 Events Philippine?Cuisine Press?Releases Video?News Blocked?Drains Citizen?Journalism Services

Genetically Modified Protest as Greenpeace moves to decontaminate Bt eggplant field trial site in the Philippines

17 February 2011

Bay, Laguna, Philippines

A Greenpeace decontamination unit today removed genetically-engineered Bt eggplant, locally known as ?Talong', from a field trial site in Barangay Paciano Rizal in Bay, Laguna, and sealed the experimental food crop in hazmat (hazardous materials) containers to prevent further contamination of neighboring fields and the environment.? ?

The Greenpeace activists were supported by organic farmers from Davao who had participated in a similar operation carried out by their provincial government last year.?

"Greenpeace is taking action today to prevent any further contamination from these hazardous genetically engineered crops.? This Bt eggplant experiment poses a threat to the environment and to farmers' livelihoods, aside from violating the spirit of the Organic Agriculture Act. ?Once these experimental GMOs (genetically modified organisms) flower, their pollen can contaminate both conventional and organic crops, irreversibly damaging them,"?said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.? "The public has the right to a safe environment and to food sources that are not genetically engineered.? If the authorities, such as the DA, fail to uphold those rights, then it becomes legitimate for others to do so."

Members of a decontamination unit from environmental activist group Greenpeace collect, bag and bin genetically-engineered Bt talong (eggplant) from an experimental field trial site in Bay town in the province of Laguna, in an effort to contain contaminants, February 17, 2011. ? Veejay Villafranca/Greenpeace

Greenpeace has called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to:

  1. Halt all Bt eggplant field trials in the Philippines and decontaminate all existing field trial sites with immediate effect;
  2. Implement the Organic Agriculture Act and ban genetic engineering of all food crops in the Philippines.
  3. To take?an active role in supplying sufficient quantity and quality of non-Bt seeds and support organic and ecological?agriculture practices.

Bt eggplant field trials commenced in 2010 despite massive protests by farmers and consumers.? Of the seven selected trial sites, Davao City, Baybay in Leyte, and Sta. Barbara in Iloilo, have issued municipal and barangay resolutions banning the field trials.? Similar statutes are still in process for Pangasinan, Laguna, Camarines Sur and North Cotabato, where field trials are already underway.? Field trials were also conducted in Davao city last October but the plants were uprooted by the local government to uphold a resolution banning the trials.

"Like in India, there is no public support for Bt eggplant field trials and it is just not right for a few GMO proponents to conduct an open experiment that can inflict grave and possibly irreversible risks to an unsuspecting public," added Shivani Shah, the sustainable agriculture campaigner from India who was on-hand to provide support to local efforts in implementing a shift to sustainable farming practices

The Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplant is genetically-modified to contain a built-in toxin to kill the fruit-and-shoot borer insect.? It is currently not approved in any country including in India where the technology was sourced for use in the Philippines.? Last February 2010, the government of India passed a moratorium on Bt eggplant commercialization to protect the country's agriculture.? In its decision, the Environment Ministry said that the science behind Bt eggplant is inadequate to answer the concerns raised by civil society groups, and that the country's GMO regulatory system is inadequate.

An analysis of India's Bt brinjal (eggplant) biosafety data by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, a French scientist, released in 2009 shows that the GMO eggplant is unsuitable for human consumption. ?The analysis concluded that Bt brinjal released into the environment, for food or feed, may present a serious risk for human and animal health.[1] ?

"Greenpeace is urging DA Secretary Prospero Alcala to categorically ban all Bt Eggplant field trials.? He has already stated that Bt eggplant will not be commercialized, which renders the field trials irrelevant. ?Safety concerns on Bt eggplant are still unanswered, and the risks are even more disturbing given the Philippines' very lax and permissive regulatory systems.? Only by halting the further entry and approvals of genetically engineered food crops can the DA achieve its goal of food security and sustainable agriculture in the country," concluded Ocampo.

Greenpeace campaigns for agriculture that is good for the planet and people; healthy food grown with the environment - not against it; and farming that will help us cope with climate change.

Posted at: 02:01 | Add Comment RSS | Digg! |

Gregorio said...

Greenpeace will help the Philippines remain a third world country. If you have an education and good health, your best hope is to join the brain drain and leave.

Posted 17 February 2011 15:25 | Reply to this comment

chuck in st paul said...

Gregorio has it right. These clowns have no intention of "letting" Filipinos progress. It might hurt Mother Gaia. In point of fact, "organic" crops are less potent in valuable nutrients, have lower per acre yields, and are reserved for pious nutballs in high income countries. So-called 'Franken foods' are a boon to the poor and under fed. Greenpeace would rather see you and your children starve than prosper based on anti-science. Miracle Rice was invented in the PI and is by definition a GMA crop. Do you seriously want to destroy all current rice production in the PI? You do if you subscribe to these nutballs.

Posted 18 February 2011 05:33 | Reply to this comment

Andy McNally said...

Gregorio and Chuck, you are both right. What these stupid people do is very ANTI-DEVELOPMENT, ANTI-PROGRESS, and ANTI-POOR. They destroy property, invite the press, take photos, but for what? To mis-educate and misinform the public. This is seriously not what EDUCATED, CIVILIZED, and DECENT people do. Why don't we gather all the pests we could find in farmers' farms and shove them all up their big, fat asses? Or why don't we just feed them to the worms? That way, they may know and feel how a farmer loses tremendous amounts of money when his farm is helplessly attacked by pests. Oh, got a new name for them now -- GREENPESTS! LOL!

Posted 19 February 2011 10:05 | Reply to this comment

ilVice said...

decontamination? That is so stupid, they don't even know what the word "decontamination" stands for. What I see here is just plain ecoterrorism. A deliberate act of violence, perpetrated in so many countries! Ignorant fools...

Posted 20 February 2011 03:06 | Reply to this comment

Chuck said...

Everybody i'm just curious with your science as you seem to know a lot about how much Greenpeace is as you say anti-development? Making sweeping generalizations about issues and organizations is an easy claim, but then again facts are important and pesky things that one needs to face in order to make a claim true. I hope you could share links and solid science from sources that are not funded by agro-chemical corporations then maybe this thread of comments would be worth everybody's time as it seems mostly unsubstantiated claims from people who generally hate Greenpeace. Please do enlighten people like me with facts. As that's what people who are (as Andy McNally finely puts it)DECENT, EDUCATED AND CIVILIZED do ;-)

Posted 24 February 2011 03:13 | Reply to this comment

chuck in st paul said...

to Chuck: do your own research fellow. It's not up to us to lay it in your lap for you. Greenpeace is a schizophrenic organization. Their various sub groups vary from sound enviromental guardianship to outright whacko stupidity. Their clean rivers group is a righteous crusade to clean up the nasty esteros and rivers for the betterment of the community. Their franken foods group are nutters of the first order. As far as studies funded by Big Agra, they are forced to do these studies by the various food protectors like the USFDA. It takes years and millions of dollars to complete these studies. None of the franken food fools put in any such effort. They do some semi-scientific papers that are later trashed by real scientists. In the mean time those junk science papers are used to scare the crud out of poorly educated people. Shame on them. Better luck next time troll.

Posted 24 February 2011 03:42 | Reply to this comment

Carlito replied to chuck in st paul...

Chuck, I'm afraid you won't get a response because unlike the Greenpeace volunteer activists are who are willing to risk their lives, limbs and liberty for the things that they care about. The arm-chair social critiques on this web page are already content with their inept masturbatory whining rather than meaningful engagement.

Posted 24 February 2011 04:48 | Reply to this comment

Chuck replied to chuck in st paul...

chuck in st. paul, it's nice that you posted and mind you i'm not a troll and i'm not sold out to greenpeace however, i believe that claims from folks like you if you're so passionate in your cause that greenpeace is wrong with genetic engineering please do share links from unbiased sources from scientists that have no special interests to advance or protect because if there are then that's a good starting point for meaningful discourse on the issue. because honestly i'm interested with discourses that focuses on in-depth facts rather claims. @carlito I'm assuming that I'm the one you're talking to, let's not write it off yet that they're not into whining let's see if they have something important to share.

Posted 24 February 2011 04:56 | Reply to this comment

Taong Bukid said...

Matanong ko lang naman, di din naman ako isang taong magaling sa science pero lahat ba tayo dito sa thread na ito malinaw sa usapin kasi isang bagay na interesado lang ako eh kung una may ksisis ba tayo sa talong? kasi baka wala naman eh kasi kung ganun hindi ko lang lubos na maintindihan kung bakit pa minamanipula ang mga talong kasi nagtatanim din naman ako nun, eh wala naman akong nakikitang problema sa kasalukuyang komposisyon ng talong. isa ko pang tanong eh malinaw ba tayong lahat sa kung ano ang Bt? kasi sa pagkakaalam ko ang Bt ay isang uri ng bacteria, ewan ko nalang sa inyo kung masasabi niyo din na sa likas na kalagayan ng talong natin ay normal lang na may bakterya ang talong. Kasi ako ayaw ko kumain ng talong na may bakterya sa kanyang genes.

Posted 24 February 2011 05:16 | Reply to this comment

anna said...

Biotechnology is not inherently bad. What's bad is genetically modifying crops & then releasing them into the wild, yes, stuff grown in fields interfaces with the natural world. When we don't have the slightest clue how this will affect the local agroecology or the more broad ecosystem as a whole, we should not be doing it. Add into that that many GMO crops are bred to not grow without certain pesticides, the Round Up Ready seeds for instance, so it in many cases encourages additional pesticides. It's amazing how so many people are all in favor of personal liberties, but seem to support GMO. I encourage you to read about the shit Monsanto does to farmers. How is forcing farmers to buy new seeds every year, instead of re-using previous crops' seeds, going to help people in developing countries? Hint: it's not going to.

Posted 24 February 2011 05:27 | Reply to this comment

marco replied to Taong Bukid...

sang-ayon ako kay taong bukid, ayoko ng talong na may bakterya. ayoko din na ganung klase na ng mga pagkain ang kakainin ng mga magiging anak ko, may bakterya. ayokong manipulado na ang mga pagkain na dadatnan ng mga susunod na henerasyon.

Posted 24 February 2011 05:46 | Reply to this comment

Greenpeace supporter said...

This is an interesting however it would be great if folks who're bashing Greenpeace would check out this link since one of those posting here is looking for links. Here's also a link to Greenpeace's scientific unit's report on the implications of genetically modified eggplant to health and the environment. I encourage those in this page to engage the folks at Greenpeace Philippines' online community because they allow dissident voices to be heard there because as far as my engagement with them is concerned they are not like most activist groups they do not claim that they have a monopoly of understanding in an issue but rather engages in what they do in order to raise the level of public debate as debate is necessary to provide traction in an issue so that synthesis into well grounded solutions could be found and also so that those who seek to maintain a status quo of complacency who would advance their own interests regardless of the health and environmental impacts be challenged to live up to their mandate of safe keeping the public commons. Here are some links that you guys might want to visit , ,

Posted 24 February 2011 05:46 | Reply to this comment

Add Comment

Your Name: (Required)

Please enter the 4 to 6 character security code:

(This is to prevent automated comments.)