«Organic in this country, banned in the Philippines»

«Organic in this country, banned in the Philippines»

In the Philippines, Greenpeace has obtained a ban on Bt aubergines and golden rice. Incredibly, the same bacteria that the environmental organisation defames as dangerous there is being praised as organic in Switzerland.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The fact that the Supreme Court in the Philippines has banned the cultivation of genetically modified Golden Rice and Bt aubergines (Bacillus thuringiensis) has caused quite a stir. The decision was particularly criticised by the government and in scientific circles. After all, Golden Rice can save the lives and eyesight of thousands of children and combat malnutrition, which is so important. Golden Rice was never cultivated for profit. «It was done to save lives», Adrian Dubock, member of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, is quoted as saying in the Guardian.

The ban on Bt aubergines, which was brought about by a Greenpeace lawsuit, is all the more striking when you consider the function of Bacillus thuringiensis. It is a valuable soil bacterium that has been used for several decades to control various insect larvae and beetles. The bacterium produces so-called Bt proteins, which are toxic to some insect pests. This enables the plant to protect itself from pests. The technology is precise – it only combats pests that are directly attacking the plant.

Farmers in developing countries such as Bangladesh in particular are making use of Bt aubergines. This means they have to use fewer pesticides and can protect their yields. In the Philippines at least, this is now history.

In this country, Bacillus thuringiensis fights the Colorado potato beetle

It's hard to believe that what Greenpeace and co. are fighting so fiercely against even has an organic halo in this country: Bacillus thurigiensis is the active ingredient in a biocontrol recommended by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FibL) to combat the notorious Colorado potato beetle.

Notorious because, not so long ago, whole armies of children had to painstakingly pick these creepy-crawlies by hand from potato plants and nightshade plants. Many older people can still remember this child labour.

The FibL praises the active ingredient against the Colorado potato beetle as «selective and not harmful to bees». The active ingredient is even listed on the FibL's «auxiliary substances list» for 2024 and is approved for potatoes, aubergines and many other crops.

And cantonal authorities use Bt as a larvicide against the pesky invasive tiger mosquitoes. nau writes: «The B.t.i.-based biological insecticide used has a specific effect against mosquito larvae and is harmless to other insect species, humans or the environment.»

What is praised in this country is supposed to be dangerous when used on the other side of the world? The layman is amazed and the expert is astonished. It's high time Greenpeace had a rethink.

Kindly note:

We, a non-native editorial team value clear and faultless communication. At times we have to prioritize speed over perfection, utilizing tools, that are still learning.

We are deepL sorry for any observed stylistic or spelling errors.

Bt aubergines and golden rice are banned in the Philippines, but organic in Switzerland.

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