Crop Biotech Update

Philippines Releases Regulations for Gene-edited Plants

May 25, 2022

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) published the rules and procedures for the evaluation of products of plant breeding innovations (PBI). The regulations, marked as Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2022 (MC8), provide a science-based and efficient process for assessment and determination of gene-edited plants if they are to be considered genetically engineered (GE) or not.

The National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines defines PBIs as a new set of molecular genomics and cellular techniques for targeted and efficient development of new and improved crop varieties in a faster and more precise manner compared to conventional methods. Section 1 of MC8 states that products of PBI with a novel combination of genetic material derived from the use of modern biotechnology are considered genetically engineered and will have to follow the rules and regulations for such prior to release. Without the presence of a novel combination of genetic material, the PBI product will be considered a conventional product.

The developer must submit a request to the Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry for Technical Consultation for Evaluation and Determination for the PBI product to be evaluated as genetically engineered or conventional. If the product is declared as non-GE, a Certificate of Non-Coverage from the JDC1, s2021 will be released to the developer and to the public.

The memorandum, signed by DA Secretary, Dr. William Dar, took effect on May 19, 2022, when it was published in the Philippine Star.

Read the document for more details.

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