Biotech Updates

Functional Regulatory Systems Vital to Reap Biotech Crop Benefits, Experts

June 5, 2019

Agricultural biotechnology is one of the most carefully regulated industries in the world, and those with functional regulatory systems on biosafety reap the benefits of the technology. These were raised by international biosafety experts during the Training-Workshop on Biosafety for Philippine Regulators being held on June 3-7, 2019 at Acacia Hotel, Manila, Philippines.

Regulators from various Philippine government agencies involved in ensuring the biosafety of biotech crops were gathered to learn from the experiences of developed countries in regulating biotech crops. Michigan State University professor, Dr. Karimbhai Maredia, presented why governments need to develop biotech policies and regulate. Dr. William Doley from the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) explained how the USDA conducts environmental risk assessment. Dr. Rashmi Nair compared the various regulatory systems implemented by developed and developing countries. Discussions on science communication, biotech adoption, and socio-economic benefits were also included in the training.

The regulators were also exposed to the various molecular biotechnology tools for varietal improvement by visiting the research facilities at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna. The regulators were also given hands-on tasks such as developing conceptual model for various GM crops that can be used to trace pathways to potential harm.

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