A petition for a Writ of Kalikasan¹ to stop the commercial propagation of genetically modified rice and eggplant, specifically Golden Rice and Bt eggplant, was successfully granted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines on 18 April 2023.
The petition was filed on 17 October 2022 by MASIPAG (a farmer-led network), et al² against the respondents who are various government agencies and organisations³ for having previously approved a biosafety permit despite non-compliance with the laws and norms governing it. This was done without considering the uncertainties associated with these GMOs, which could cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem.
We welcome this move by the Supreme Court in issuing the Writ of Kalikasan on Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant and its recognition that these genetically modified crops pose a grave danger to our environment and health.MASIPAG National Coordinator
He also stressed that this is a victory for organic farmers since for years, farmers and scientists have been pointing out the irreversible damage and risks to the environment, risk to biodiversity of rice and eggplant through gene contamination, and human health that come with the propagation of GM Golden Rice and Bt eggplant. Genetic modification of crops directly violates the core principles of organic agriculture which are being upheld by organic farmers.
Rowena Buena, Regional Coordinator of MASIPAG Luzon, added that in organic farming, all living creatures in the ecological food web of life - the microbes, insects including butterflies, and the entire biodiversity - can be adversely affected by this kind of technology along with the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This affects pollination, soil carbon, and closing of these ecological cycles, which may ultimately lead to unsustainable, toxic food systems that affect our health and environments, as well as the income of organic producers due to contamination.