What next for proponents after SCOTP halts test of GMO BT talong?


Cultivation and propagation of crops and vegetables using the gene modification technology has found in the Philippines  a vast willing laboratory. While countries in Europe, including Germany and Russia has either stopped or put on hold the entry and use of the technology and GMO crops, third world countries in Asia became the willing collaborators.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of the Philippines (SCOTP) handed the decision to temporarily stop in any application for contained use, propagation, commercialization and importation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) until a new administrative order is promulgated in accordance with the law.

In 2013, the Philippine Court of Appeals issued a Writ of Kalikasan to stop the field trials of Bt eggplant in the country. Last December, the Supreme Court of the Philippines (SCOTP) has permanently stopped the field trials on Bt eggplant, and cited that the DA AO No. 8 failed to meet the minimum requirements for safety as indicated in the National Biosafety Framework.

According to International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a common soil bacterium that contains a gene which produces a protein harmful to eggplant fruit and shoot borer (FSB).

With the the court decisions the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST-PHL) has expressed grave concern on the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on Bt talong (eggplant), which ordered permanent halt on Bt eggplant field tests and declared Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Order (AO) No. 8 (“Rules and Regulations for the Importation of and Release into the Environment of Plants and Plant Products Derived from the Use of Modern Biotechnology”) null and void.

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