Supreme Court dismisses industry lobby group appeal to intervene on Writ of Kalikasan case against GMOs

Press release - December 4, 2013
Manila — Greenpeace today welcomed the Supreme Court’s resolution to dismiss with finality the appeal of a GMO lobby group to intervene in the Writ of Kalikasan case against genetically-engineered Bt eggplant field trials. The appeal was filed by lobby group Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (BCP), a group promoting genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Earlier BCP also filed—and was denied—a petition for certiorari against the Court of Appeals justices who ruled in favour of the Writ of Kalikasan to stop Bt Eggplant field trials in the country.

"We commend this decision from the Supreme Court because it affirms that the Court of Appeals has authority to hear and decide the petition of Greenpeace and Filipino farmers’ and scientists’ groups against the genetically-modified Bt eggplant,” said Beau Baconguis, Program Manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “The decision also rejects the BCP's preposterous claims that our judges are incompetent and that the Bt Eggplant case has no merit. This is a huge victory for common folk— farmers, consumers and traders of organic harvests—who are concerned about the environmental safety and health impacts of Bt Eggplant and other GMOs.”

Greenpeace said that the Supreme Court’s firm stand has vindicated the rights of all Filipinos to a safe and healthy ecology especially since there is a lack of scientific consensus regarding the safety of GMOs. This uncertainty has prompted other countries like India,  China, Thailand,  Austria, France, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Ireland, Peru, Kenya, Tasmania,  Australia,  Egypt,  Algeria,  Angola,  Benin, Malawi,  Namibia,  Zambia, Switzerland,  Russia  and  Mexico[i] to ban  the  release  or importation of  genetically  modified  crops into their environments. Even in the United States, known for its lax stand against GMOs, several states are already starting to ban, or label, genetically-modified crops and food with GMO ingredients.

“The government should uphold and protect the public’s interest, especially when it comes to food safety,” said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “They must ensure that consumers’ rights are protected. The Department of Agriculture must be transparent and do a much better job as regulators by scrutinizing GMO applications, instead of approving them for production and commercial release.”

Greenpeace and other environmentalists have long denounced the Philippine government’s relentless approvals of GMOs. To date, there are 62 GMOs approved for food, feed and processing. Meanwhile there are eight (8) GMO crops approved for propagation, without any regard to their long-term impacts to human health and the environment. These GMOs are being eaten by Filipinos without their knowledge and consent.“The scientific community should welcome this decision and use their resources to support and strengthen Philippine agricultural science with advancements that will protect the environment, safeguard people’s health and uplift the socio-economic conditions of farmers, without the use of risky GMOs,” added Ocampo.

For more information:

Daniel M. Ocampo
Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Email:  
Mobile No. +63 917 8110469
 
Virginia Benosa-Llorin
Media Campaigner
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Email:  
Mobile No. +63 917 8228793

Notes:
 
[i] `Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
                    http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
 `Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC; http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
`Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/hungary.html;
 `Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/greece/gmo-free-news-from-greece.html;
`Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/poland/gmo-free-news-from-poland.html;
`Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
`Safeguard Clause' of Article 23 of the Deliberate Release Directive 2001/18/EC;
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_ban_cultivation_en.htm;
http://www.euractiv.com/cap/bulgaria-approves-law-ban-gmo-cr-news-355729;
http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions/bulgaria/gmo-free-news-frombulgaria.html
http://www.taoiseach.ie/eng/Publications/Publications_2009/Reviewed_Programme_for_Government_October_2009.pdf;
http://current.com/groups/newsblog/93975745_peru-bans-genetically-modified-foods-as-us-lags.htm;
http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-torn-over-kenya-s-recent-gm-food-ban-1.11929;
http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter/nsf/Attachments/MCAS-7LP623/$FILE/Policy%20Statement%20Gene%20Technology.pdf;
http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/biotechnology/framework;
nic.in/downloads/publicinformation/minister_REPORT.pdf
http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/egypt-bans-genetically-modified-food-canit-be-done.html;
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCFANT.php;
http://www.isis.org.uk/GMCFANT.php;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2004/mar/31/gm.food1;
http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/03/31/1-benin-a-cautious-approach-in-the-midst-of-theheated-debate-on-gmos-inter-press-service-allafricacom/;
http://www.isis.org.uk/GMCFANT.php;
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCFANT.php;
http://www.isis.org.uk/GMCFANT.php;
http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-freeregions/switzerland.html;
Agricultural Policy 2014-17
http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=2157&print=1&no_cache=1; 
http://www.naturalnews.com/037328_russia_gmo_monsanto.html;  
http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/service19.htm 
http://gizadeathstar.com/2012/12/mexico-announces-ban-on-gmo-corn-planting-onthanksgiving-day/

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