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PHILIPPINES Biotech Golden Rice Approval
Seen by Marvyn N. Benaning
23-August- 2012 Manila Bulletin View
MANILA, Philippines --- The
world’s leading biotech crop advocate has predicted that the
genetically-modified (GM) beta carotene-fortified Golden Rice
will secure approval for commercialization in the Philippines
in the next two years.
James said that in spite of what detractors have said the
rate of adoption of biotech crops “in developing countries
dwarfs that of industrialized nations.”
He observed that of the 29 countries that had adopted biotech
crops in 2011, 19 were developing countries and 10 were
“China and India lead Asian adoption, Brazil and Argentina
lead Latin American adoption, and South Africa leads adoption
on the continent of Africa.
A growth rate for biotech crops in developing countries
at 11 percent, or 8.2 million hectares during 2011, was
twice as fast and twice as large as industrial countries
at 5 percent or 3.8 million hectares,” James said.
Developing countries grew approximately 50 percent of global
biotech crops in 2011 and are expected to exceed industrial
countries’ land area devoted to the crops this year.
More than 90 percent of farmers planting biotech crops
worldwide, around 15 million, are small resource-poor farmers
in developing countries, up 8 percent or 1.3 million since
2010, James revealed.
He added that in the near term, the biggest driver of global
biotech crop adoption will be Brazil followed by China once
approval to commercialize biotech corn in China is in place,
which could be as early as 2013.
Brazil, second only to the US in total land area planted
to biotech crops, has a science-based, effective and responsible
fast-track approval system for biotech crops and will also
benefit from a rich pipeline of new biotech crops coming
from transnationals, public-private partnerships (PPP) and
its own public-sector research institution EMBRAPA,
SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center UPLB Campus 4031, Los Baños, Laguna, PHILIPPINES
Telephone +6349 536 2290 ext. 406 / 169 / 135
Fax +6349 536 4105
SEARCA BIC is one of the biotechnology information nodes of the International
Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications Global Knowledge
Center (ISAAA KC) and hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center
for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). It was officially
established in 2000 to address the needs of the region for a highly
credible, sound and factual biotechnology information center in the
Southeast Asian region accessible to various stakeholders.