The Supreme Court in the Philippines has halted the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) “Golden Rice” and GM eggplant. The decision is a response to a petition filed by the farmer-led network MASIPAG on October 12, 2022.
“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 grave danger to our environment and health,” said MASIPAG national coordinator Alfie Pulumbarit. “We hope that the Supreme Court shall grant our prayer to issue the Temporary Environmental Protection Order. It is most urgent that the propagation of Golden Rice and Bt Eggplant shall be stopped as our local rice diversity and associated biodiversity are at stake with the threat of gene contamination coming from these genetically modified crops.”
A Writ of Kalikasan is a legal remedy for the protection of the right to “a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” under Section 16, Article II of the Constitution of the Philippines.
Regulatory Status: In December 2019, the Government of the Philippines approved genetically modified Vitamin-A “Golden Rice” as safe to eat, following similar food safety approvals by regulators in Canada, the US, and Australia and New Zealand in 2017/2018, though it has not yet been assessed for efficacy. In July 2021, the Government of the Philippines approved it for growing (with very limited cultivation in 2022).
For background and analysis see CBAN’s report on Golden Rice
For updates see www.cban.ca/goldenrice