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Town forces University of Philippines to uproot GMO eggplant

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: GMOs, Philippines, health news

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(NaturalNews) The town of Mintal, Philippines, recently forced the local University of Philippines at Mindanao (UP) to uproot a field of genetically-modified (GM) eggplant because the institution failed to properly consult with local governments and the public on the matter, and ignored taking proper precautions to protect native eggplant from contamination as is required by law.

Just because UP is an institute of higher learning does not give it the liberty to tamper with crops as it pleases without proper approval -- this was the sentiment of Mayor Sara Duterte when she ordered government officials to go remove the plants on Friday, December 17. The school had repeatedly ignored warnings that the plants were in violation of the law, that is until officials were literally on their way to take care of the problem themselves.

Once UP realized the government planned to act on its warnings, it tried to plead with the city to grant a five-day postponement, but to no avail. Officials arrived and disposed of the infringing "Frankencrops" to loud cheers from individuals vocally opposed to GMOs. And Avila, a huge promoter of organic agriculture, explained to local reporters that if the school wants to test any sort of GMOs in the future, it will have to follow strict guidelines.

"We should have talked it out," explained Avila to Minda News. "The groups opposing genetically-modified eggplants talked with use but they (UP Mindanao) did not."

Upon arrival to the site by city officials, school faculty attempted to legitimize and defend the plantings of the GM eggplant as having been done safely and in a confined manner. But many in the crowd refused to hear it, noting that one such "precaution", the "protective" fence built around the site, was nothing more than a simple open-air, chain-link fence, which does nothing to prevent pollen from drifting or being carried by pollinators into nearby fields or the wild.

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