Supreme Court issues writ of kalikasan against Golden Rice, Bt Eggplant

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) — The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it has issued a writ of kalikasan against the Department of Agriculture, other government agencies as well as the Philippine Rice Institute and University of the Philippines-Los Banos to stop the release of genetically modified rice and eggplant products.

MASIPAG farmers protesting Golden Rice. Photo from the MASIPAG Facebook page

The decision was reached in the High Court’s En Banc session on Tuesday during which the respondents were required to file a verified return within 10 days from service.

Petitioners led by Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-Unlad ng Agrickultura (Masipag) filed before the court a petition for the issuance of a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) against the propagation of Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant over safety concerns and compliance with legal requirements.

The petition said Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant would endanger the environment being genetically modified organisms.

In a statement posted Thursday on the group’s social media page, Masipag national coordinator Alfie Pulumbarit welcomed the decision as a good development, as the DA approved in 2021 yet the propagation of Golden Rice in 17 areas across the country.

He added that the DA approved the commercial propagation of Bt Eggplant last year.

Pulumbarit urged the SC to also issue a TEPO for the immediate stoppage of the project, and declare as null and void the commercialization approval. (MindaNews)