Position Statements on Biotechnology
National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines Statement
Filipino Scientists in Support of Biotechnology
We at the National Academy of Science and Technology - as the highest advisory and recognition body of the government of the Republic of the Philippines on science and technology - as well as other scientists undersigned believe and support the application of modern biotechnology as a tool to enhance agricultural productivity; to feed and improve the lives of the increasing population; and to address environmental degradation, hunger and poverty. We also strongly advocate using sound science as the basis for regulatory and political decisions pertaining to biotechnology. We promote the careful, unbiased, science-based evaluation of technologies and products of modern biotechnology.
Modern biotechnology has tremendous potential and offers remarkable innovations to support our country's efforts to attain food security and global competitiveness. Its benefits to developing countries in the areas of food and agriculture, health and medicine, environmental protection, trade and industry, are expected to be more than those benefits gained by developing countries where food and feed overproduction exists.
Products of modern biotechnology promise to reduce farmers' high input costs, increase their yields while keeping the ecosystem intact, and enable crops to grow under normally unfavorable conditions. Biotechnology products can even provide greater benefits to consumers, who have always been the ultimate beneficiaries of technology innovations. For instance, modern biotechnology can be a useful tool to attain greater nutritional security, through enhanced products' vitamin content and prolonged shelf life. Modern biotechnology can also produce healthier oils and develop vaccines to fight dreadful diseases like cholera and malaria.
We recognize that no technology is without risk. However, we have great confidence in the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, the inter-department agency tasked to regulate R&D in modern biotechnologies, and which has been cautious and stringent in the implementation of its regulations. In addition, the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards and the Department of Health's Bureau of Foods and Drugs are jointly setting up mechanisms for the regulation of food safety and commercialization of modern biotechnology-derived food and feed products.
We therefore advocate and promote the safe and responsible applications of modern biotechnology in science and technology, agriculture and food, health and medicine, environment, and trade and industry - for the upliftment of the Filipino nation. Considering the tremendous potential of this technology, we urge the policymakers to base their decisions on sound scientific evidence.
Scientists in Support of Biotechnology
and Agricultural Organization
Society of African Scientists
United States of America
Biotechnology Advisory Committee
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