City in the Philippines destroys Bt eggplants
2.Greenpeace lauds Davao City order to terminate Bt eggplant trials
1.Davao city gov't destroys 'Bt' eggplants in UP farm
Jeffrey M. Tupas
Inquirer Mindanao, 12/19/2010
DAVAO CITY, Philippines - The city government destroyed genetically modified eggplants being field-tested in a site at the University of the Philippines Mindanao in Barangay (village) Mintal here as people involved in the experimentation cried.
The whole experimental site was completely shut down Saturday and about 1,500 Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, eggplants, about a half of them already bearing flowers and fruits, were destroyed, city officials said.
The destroyed plants were buried in a ditch.
The uprooting of the controversial crops followed the December 13 cease-and-desist order issued by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte against the experimentation, which was highly criticized for its alleged lack of transparency.
Barangay Bago Oshiro and Mintal, which surround the UP Mindanao campus, have issued resolutions calling for the immediate cessation of the field trials.
In the order, Duterte had warned UP that the city government would uproot the crops if UP did not voluntarily shut down the site.
Leo Avila, chief of the City Agriculture Office, said Duterte wanted the university to “start all over again and go through the right procedure.”
The Go Organic Mindanao, a coalition of groups pushing for sustainable and environmentally acceptable agriculture, said those behind the project did not hold public consultations before the field testing started.
The group has insisted that the field testing would expose the local varieties to contamination because it was not conducted within a confined trial.
But UP’s Dr. Eufemio Rasco, the man behind the field testing, said their experimentation had been observing the safeguards required to prevent contamination by putting up traps.
Critics of the project, however, say the traps were just cyclone wires.
Avila said it was best to stop experimentation due to a clash of ideas on what “strictly confined trial” meant.
The two-day operation was witnessed by Go Organic Mindanao member organizations, representatives of UP, Bureau of Plants Industry and the city government, through Avila.
Before this, officials of UP asked the city government for a five-day reprieve. The implementation of Duterte's order was overwhelmed by intense emotion and heated exchanges between supporters of the experiment and members of the Go Organic Mindanao.
On Saturday, Rasco's staff broke into tears when their field test site was shut down.
2.Greenpeace lauds Davao City order to terminate Bt eggplant trials
Press release - December 17 2010
Censures DA for failure to monitor biosafety requirements
Greenpeace lauded the Davao City government for issuing a cease-and-desist order against the conduct of field trials of genetically engineered (GE) Bt eggplant, and demanded the UP Mindanao Campus in Bago Oshiro to immediately heed the directive and stop the risky open field experiment to prevent further contamination from the genetically modified organism (GMO).
"Davao City has done the right thing issuing the cease-and-desist order on this risky experiment especially since Bt Talong proponents have openly disregarded the city resolution against the GMO field trials. We applaud Davao City’s firm stance and are calling on other local governments to follow their lead. No GE crop has ever been proven safe to the environment and human health, and they cannot be recalled once they are released into the environment,” said Daniel M. Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
"These field trials should never have been conducted given the opposition already made by local governments and the public, and given the scientific evidences of the risks of field testing that were presented during the public consultation in September ,” he added.
In the order, sent to the UP Mindanao Chancellor’s office and dated December 13, 2010, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte cited the lack of public consultation on the part of proponents, prior to their field trials, which is a requirement for regulated articles under the Department of Agriculture (DA). The cease-and-desist order directs UP Mindanao to immediately stop field testing operations and remove all existing Bt Talong specimens in the site.
Earlier, Davao City and the two Barangays adjacent to the UP Mindanao campus (Mintal and Bago Oshiro) have all passed resolutions against the conduct of any Bt Talong field trial in the area.
While lauding the efforts of local governments in seeking to halt field trials in several provinces all over the country , Greenpeace criticized the Department of Agriculture for failing to regulate the conduct of trials that are already underway, even though these did not first pass adequate and accurate scientific testing in confined laboratory conditions.
Those developing the Bt eggplant have employed technical jargon calling the ongoing experiments "confined field tests" instead of field trials -- as a workaround against having to first conduct (and pass) safety tests in confined laboratory settings. Greenpeace maintains that any GE crop outside the confines of the laboratory already poses risks to the environment and human health.  A vast majority of GE contamination incidents are caused by experimental field trials, such as the PRSV Papaya in Thailand  and Bayer’s LL601 in the US .
NGOs and communities in Davao will be behind the City Agriculturist’s Office in implementing and monitoring compliance to the cease-and-desist order.
"We support the call for the immediate uprooting of the Bt talong in UP Mindanao before it reaches flowering stage and puts our health and environment in danger. Shame on UP Mindanao for going ahead with the field testing in spite of the opposition of the city government and the villages hosting the university, and the advice of the rest of the scientific community,” said Nena Morales of Go Organic Davao City, a network that promotes organic agriculture and supports the city’s organic agriculture ordinance.
Greenpeace is campaigning for agriculture that is good for the planet and people; Healthy food grown with the environment ”” not against it; Farming that helps cope with climate change.
Notes to Editors:
 On September 30, 2010 as requested by the City Agriculture office a public hearing was conducted in Ateneo de Davao University with Dr. Pushpa Bhargava and Dr. Eufemio Rasco as speakers. This was co-organised by Greenpeace with Go Organic Mindanao (GOM) and various stakeholders.
 Cotabato and Leyte. The seven field trial sites: Sta. Maria, Pangasinan; UPLB, Laguna; San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur; Visayas State University, Leyte ; University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato; Sta. Barbara, Iloilo; UP Mindanao, Davao. In Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, the municipal government has already passed a resolution opposing the field trials. Similar resolutions are being prepared in North
 In 2004 Greenpeace research discovered that Papaya in the Northeast of Thailand was contaminated by the Papaya Ringspot Virus resisted GE variety. The contamination came from a government research farm in Khon Kaen. http://gmcontaminationregister.org/index.php?content=re_detail&gw_id=20ï¿½=0&inc=0&con=0&cof=4&year=0&handle2_page=
http://gmcontaminationregister.org/index.php?content=reï¿½=0&inc=0&con=0&cof=7&year=0 LL601 is a genetically modified rice developed by Bayer resistant to the toxic herbicide liberty link and was field tested in 2001. In 2006 this unauthorised and illegal GE rice was found to have contaminated US rice exportsand has led to losses of more than USD 1.2 Billion for the US rice industry.