Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Greenpeace seeks end to GMO trials
Says studies have yet to prove that genetically modified organisms are safe for consumersA Greenpeace activist bags genetically engineered Bt talong (eggplant) from a trial site in Laguna province last year (Courtesy of Greenpeace)
- Hernan Melencio, Manila
- April 26, 2012
‚ÄúThe government‚Äôs pro-GMO approach is unfortunately resulting in a massive and uncontrolled unleashing of GMOs into our diets and our environment. This, despite the absence of conclusive scientific proof that these monster crops are safe to public health and the environment,‚ÄĚ said Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Hernandez is one of the signatories to a petition asking the court in particular to immediately stop the experiments on eggplants called Bt talong, given the alleged scientific uncertainties about the safety of GMOs.
‚ÄúWe believe the Department of Agriculture‚Äôs unaccountable GMO approval and regulatory system violates the Filipino‚Äôs right to ‚Äėa balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature‚Äô guaranteed by our constitution,‚ÄĚ Hernandez said.
Bt talong and other GMO crops are dangerous to human health and the environment, he said. He further claimed that scientific tests on laboratory animals fed GMO food such as Bt talong, have shown that GMOs negatively affect their liver, kidneys and blood.
‚ÄúNo long-term studies have been conducted to prove these GMOs are safe for human consumption. Also, GMOs, which are man-made living organisms, can crossbreed and reproduce, causing gene transfer to natural and wild plant varieties.‚ÄĚ
Other signatories to the petition include current and former legislators, scientists, university professors and celebrities.
Named respondents in the petition include the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Bureau of Plant Industry and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, UP Los Ba√Īos Foundation Inc, UP Mindanao Foundation Inc, and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications-Southeast Asia Center.