The issue pits the Academic Freedom of UPLB and U.P. Mindanao scientists to conduct scientific inquiries into improving crop yields in order to help small-scale farmers over the rights of the local government of Davao City to take into account the sentiments of its constituents, some of whom are concerned over the issues of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their impact on the environment as well as concerns about the impact of monoculture of crops in agriculture in favor large-scale cropping areas that tend to favor large-scale agro-industrial enterprises over small-scale farmers. The issue is timely because it compels the University of the Philippines, which has ambitions of becoming a premier world-class research university , to define the nature and scope of the kind of world-class research it hopes to undertake and for whose benefit the research accrues to.
Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace Philippines oppose U.P.'s participation in field trials on genetically engineered (GE) organisms also known as GMOs. “GE crop field trials are experiments that cannot yield any success because they are inherently risky. Bt eggplant field trials will endanger conventional eggplant varieties with irreversible genetic contamination and will eventually threaten farmers’ livelihoods. It will also put at risk the health of Filipinos. No GMO has ever been proven safe for human consumption and the evidence that these organisms pose long-term threats is growing. The Department of Agriculture must listen to provinces who have refused to be part of this folly," Greenpeace said in a press statement last October 29, 2010 (http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/press/releases/Greenpeace-slams-DA-on-Bt-Eggplant/).
(View of the Field Trial site on Dec. 16, 2010
Source: U.P. Mindanao website (
(December 17, Friday, project personnel start
the removal of the plants in compliance with the Mayor's order)
(City team chop up the plant materials)
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