Anti-science hippies who invoke the precautionary principle to extremes (but only about their own causes) are not just an American cult phenomenon; Europe invented anti-science hysteria and the term Frankenfood.

In the Philippines, the problems and hysterical claims are similar but the results have been better for science - though still not without disagreement.  We can forgive Philippine judges who don't understand biology and science when they want to act more cautiously but the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) there is not in the voting pocket of progressive activist groups so their language is a little more blunt regarding outsiders using scare tactics to trump science.

NAST president Emil Javier said the health issues that Greenpeace had raised on Bt corn have no scientific basis and therefore had none on Bt eggplant either.  “International regulatory bodies have dismissed these studies showing that genetically modified crops are harmful to humans.”

Well, he's right. The fruit and shoot borer is the most destructive eggplant pest in Asia and a natural repellent that involves no chemicals should be a good thing, but it shows how fringe anti-science groups are undercutting each other.  Fruit and shoot-resistant eggplant, like scientists in the Philippines are developing, will be better for everyone and the environment. The bacterium Bt simply creates Cry proteins that are toxic to some insects but harmless to humans.

Yet Greenpeace still claims genetically modified food damages human internal organs.  That silly claim was made in a media interview (about rodents, in the 1990s) and was based on an unpublished and unverified work - the same level of scientific rigor Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann used to claim an HPV vaccine gave a girl mental retardation. Which tells you about the science credibility of Greenpeace.

Eggplant is the most widely consumed vegetable in that country and the scientists estimate that small farmers who are currently forced to use insecticides will get higher yields and a safer end product due to fewer chemicals.

SCORE in the Philippines

Science:1 - Greenpeace:0