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Philippines RP tops in regulation
of GM crops by Izah Morales
04-November-2008 INQUIRER.net View
CEBU, Philippines — Among the
member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN), the Philippines is the most advanced in implementing
safety regulations for genetically modified (GM) crops, experts
“Pinaka-advance tayo kasi we were able to commercialize
GM products such as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn and
herbicide-resistant corn. [We are the most advanced because
we were able to commercialize genetically modified products
such as Bt corn and herbicide-resistant corn.],” said Reynaldo
Ebora, executive director of the Philippine Council for
Advance Science and Technology Research and Development
(PCASTRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
In contrast, LAO PDR and Myanmar are still in the initial
stages of developing biosafety policies.
Biosafety laws in Cambodia and Malaysia were approved in
January 2008 and July 2007, respectively. Meanwhile, Indonesia,
Thailand and Vietnam that have existing regulations are
conducting field trials, said Ebora during a symposium on
Biotechnology and Nutritionally Enhanced Food and Crops
here in Cebu.
Ebora pointed out that market acceptance of GM crops is
not a problem in the Philippines.
“ Kasi ang mga farmer, mas gusto nila dahil mas mataas ang
yield. Sa general public, it seems na mataas ang public
acceptance. Kasi kung hindi mataas ang public acceptance,
kakaunti sana ung bibili ng seeds na itatanim.Ang problema
ngaun, kulang ung seeds na itatanim. [The farmers wanted
Bt corn because it has higher yield. It also seems that
the public acceptance is high. If the public acceptance
is not high, then only few would buy seeds for planting.
But the problem now is that there are few seeds.],” Ebora
Safety regulations GM crops can bring back trust in them,
added Dr. Junshi Chen of the Chinese Center for Disease
“The Chinese government has decided to give a larger amount
of financial investment to further study new GMOs for the
Chinese population. It is serious on safety evaluation and
safety assessment of new products,” Chen said.
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