NOV. 22, 2011 DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Z. Duterte’s stand on the controversial Bascillus thurigiensis eggplant locally known as Bt talong has not changed amid clamor for another round of field tests here.
Duterte said she sees no compelling reason to allow the field testing of Bt talong in any part of the city, even inside the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao campus in Mintal.
UP Mindanao is among the proponents of the controversial project. Bt talong is an example of a genetically-modified organism (GMOs), which is capable of protecting itself from insects, particularly borers.
“I do not see any benefit that we can get from it especially for the city,” Duterte said.
She said the City Government will issue an official stance on the proposed second round of Bt talong open field test once the City Agriculturist Office is done with its study and recommendations.
It can be recalled that last year, Duterte ordered UP Mindanao chancellor Dr. Gilda Rivero to stop Bt talong trials due to its failure to comply with majority of the conditions set by the Bureau of Plant Industry.
Meanwhile, the City Council had junked the request of UP Mindanao professor Gerardo A. Santos who sought for the approval of the City Council for the continuance of a field testing of Bt talong in the city, saying the public must not be deprived of a free choice between crops that are organically grown and genetically modified.
Santos requested the council to reconsider the field testing of the Bt talong in the city after the City Government ordered to stop similar test inside the UP campus in December last year. ( Jereco Paloma, Sunstar Davao)