ArchivesJune 2010NegOr declared organic; GMO-free

NegOr declared organic; GMO-free

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DUMAGUETE CITY–The Provincial Board has passed an Ordinance declaring Negros Oriental as a Genetically-Modified Organism (GMO)-free province. {{more}}

In its second to the last session Thursday, the Provincial Board passed the Ordinance authored by Board Member Lea Ga Bromo which seeks to complement a similar Ordinance passed by the neighboring province of Negros Occidental, to achieve a totally GMO-free island.

Bromo said that while a national government policy statement states that the Philippines “promotes the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology,” the statement is not specific to GMOs.

She also admitted that the Department of Agriculture, by virtue of Administrative Order 08, series of 2002, may regulate field testing and commercialization of GMOs but added that local governments, under the principle of local autonomy, have the authority to ban GMOs to promote the general welfare of its constituents.

This, she said, will be guided by the principle of precautionary approach. “Preventive action such as banning of GMOs can be taken in the face of scientific uncertainty, especially when there are threats of serious or irreversible social, economic or ecological damage,” she said.

Under this Ordinance, it shall be unlawful for persons to introduce or bring GMOs into Negros Oriental. Also prohibited is the planting or growing and selling of GMOs.

The Ordinance will be enforced by the Provincial Agriculturist’s Office and the Provincial Veterinary Office.

The Provincial Board also passed an Ordinance institutionalizing, promoting and developing organic agriculture in Negros Oriental.

The law, also authored by Board Member Lea Bromo, seeks to influence large-scale and monoculture agri-industries to integrate organic agriculture practices.

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