THE Austrian Bishops’ Conference urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to stop the rampant aerial spraying in the country, which is causing high risk to human.

In a letter sent to the President, Cardinal Dr. Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna and Chairman of the Austrian Episcopal Conference together with Bishop Dr. Ludwig Schwarz, Bishop of Linz expressed its support to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that “spraying chemicals on people and livelihood infringes upon human health and dignity.”

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

Cardinal Schonborn also disputed the claim of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) that it was a victim of “inter-lapping networks and coalitions funded by a consortia of giant private sector foundations and charitable organizations in the European union.”

“We strongly disapprove of the depiction of these respected organizations as being the long arm of European business interest as done by the PBGEA,” the letter stated.

The letter was in solidarity with the affected communities in Mindanao particularly the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (MAAS), the Interface Development Interventions (IDIS), National Task Force Against Aerial Spraying (NTFAAS) and the Filipino bishops.

The aerial spraying issue was brought to the attention of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference by the DKA Austria, the Austrian Catholic development organization.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, together with other bishops namely Broderick Pabillo (Manila Auxiliary Bishop) Deogracias Iniguez of Caloocan, Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Antonio Tobias of Novaliches and others also wrote a letter to President Arroyo asking her to permanently ban aerial spraying in the country due to its negative effects to the people and environment. (MSN/Sunnex)