Bt Crops Get Push in the Philippines
Law professors from the University of the Philippines Law Center-Institute of International Legal Studies (IILS) shared their assessment on Bt talong and GMOs in the Philippines during their special Agriculture and Development Seminar Series for the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
IILS Officer-In-Charge Atty. Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II shared his interpretation of the Dec. 8, 2015, Supreme Court decision on banning the Bt talong field trials and the nullification of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Order No. 8, which served as guidelines for the regulation of GM plants in the country. Law Education Specialist Atty.
Celeste Ruth Cembrano Mallari presented issues in international trade of GM crops and cited the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Both law experts, recognizing the benefits and potentials of biotech, expressed the need for effective science communicators particularly in advancing the importance and value of biotech research and products to policymakers and key decision makers.
On July 26, the Supreme Court reversed its December 2015 decision on the Bt talong case, stating the mootness of the case, with the field trials having been already completed in 2012.