Crop Biotech Update

PH Solon Lauds Approval of Golden Rice, Endorses Passage of Nat'l Biotech Law

January 8, 2020
Image Credit: Manila Bulletin
AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin lauded the approval of the biosafety permit for GR2E Golden Rice in the Philippines, and stated that it is a "victory for science, agriculture, and all Filipinos." "It is time that safe and responsible use of biotechnology be included in the Philippine toolkit to meet national development goals," the solon added.

The GR2E Golden Rice, a project of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), was recently issued a permit for direct use as food and feed, or for processing (FFP) by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI). The genetically modified crop intends to address Vitamin A deficiency, which is a global public health problem particularly among children and pregnant women.

Garin is also leading legislative efforts in Congress to promote safe and responsible use of biotechnology in the country. She appealed to the House Leadership for the passage of House Bill No. 3372 or the proposed Modern Biotechnology Act, which seeks to "to expedite the regulatory decision-making process in biotechnology to help ensure the health and well-being of Filipinos, promote competitiveness, help reduce hunger and poverty, and help mitigate the effects of climate change."

The Bill likewise calls for the establishment of the Biotechnology Authority of the Philippines (BioAP), which will lead to developing the biotech industry and streamlining the country's biosafety regulations. The BioAP, which will be an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology, shall also be tasked to provide sustained funding for modern biotechnology technology programs in agriculture, agroforestry, food processing, health, and manufacturing high-value products for local and international markets.

For more details, read the news article in Manila Bulletin.

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