Cheaper Breads, GMO Food Debates

Article excerpt

akers, particularly members of the Philippine Baking Industry Group, Inc. (PhilBaking), are voluntarily reducing the price of Pinoy Tasty bread by June 11 to reflect the declining prices of wheat and flour in the world market. In a press statement, PhilBaking president Walter Co said Pinoy Tasty will be offered at R37.00 per 450g loaf. To lower the price of Pinoy Tasty, bakers use imported flour which is cheaper than locally milled flour. Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya thanked the bakers' group for its positive response to an earlier government appeal. Simplicio Umali Jr., president of the country's biggest bread producer Gardenia Bakeries, said the price reduction for Pinoy Tasty will take effect in the second week of June to ensure proper coordination of all outlets of bakers making Pinoy Tasty.

FRANKENFOOD BAN - The website defines frankenfood as a "Perjorative term for genetically modified food whether it be derived from genetically engineered plants or animals. This derogatory term was coined from Franken(stein) + food on June 16, 1992 by Paul Lewis, Professor of English at Boston College."

Environmentalists, who are against any form of genetic food modification, scored a landmark victory last week when the Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) stopped the government from further conducting field tests on genetically modified variety of eggplant that produces its own pesticide. Subject of the ruling is the Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) eggplant, a modified eggplant genetically altered with a gene from the Bt bacteria.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican, the CA cited the lack of scientific proof showing that the Bt eggplants from genetically modified organisms (GMO) are fit for human consumption.

"In the instant case, the field trials of Bt talong (eggplant) involve the willful and deliberate alteration of the genetic traits of a living element of the ecosystem and the relationship of living organisms that depend on each other for survival," the CA said. "Consequently, the field trials of Bt talong could not be declared by this Court as safe to human health and to our ecology," it added.

The CA decision granted the Writ of Kalikasan sought by the regional chapter of the environmental group Greenpeace and other groups. It directed the DENR, DA, UP Los Banos Foundation Inc., UP Mindanao Foundation, Inc. and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications-Southeast Asia Center to "permanently cease and desist from further conducting Bt talong field trials. …