Biotech Updates

ISAAA Webinar Explores Animal Biotech Prospects in the Philippines

October 5, 2022

The webinar Animal Biotechnology Opportunities and Regulations in the Philippines was held on September 29, 2022, via Zoom. It was co-organized by ISAAA Inc., the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Winrock International through the Building Safe Agricultural Food Enterprises (B-SAFE) Project. The event aimed to provide the status and opportunities of animal biotechnology for food and agriculture globally and discuss the research and development opportunities and regulations of animal biotechnology in the Philippines.

During his opening message, Mr. Mark Hanzel, Agricultural Attaché of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, emphasized the role of agriculture in improving food security and the importance of using all agricultural tools available, animal biotechnology included. Animal biotechnology helps improve human and animal health, especially in countries like the Philippines, where climate change affects farming and husbandry. It also aids the development of more nutritious food by improving animal health conditions and diagnostic testing resulting in safer and high-quality food for consumers.

Dr. Carl Ramage, Managing Director of Rautaki Solutions Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia, presented the global overview of animal biotechnology applications for food and agriculture, regulations, and potentials. He discussed genetically engineered and gene-edited targets identified and characterized by animals, along with the numerous biomedical models generated using gene editing techniques. Significant opportunities for improved animal health and welfare on the market, especially in livestock, were also discussed.

Dr. Claro Mingala, Director of the Biotech Program Office of the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines, tackled the current situation of animal biotechnology in the Philippines, highlighting policy considerations. He explained that the Philippines' regulatory policy on genetically modified animals is in the last stage of finalization and is expected to be signed by the heads of five government offices by the end of 2022 to take effect. He also emphasized that the policy does not cover gene-edited products that do not contain novel combinations of genetic materials.

The open discussions covered how the animal biotechnology regulations in the Philippines differed from the plant biotechnology regulations and the global prospects and opportunities the country may engage in with other countries. Dr. Caro Salces, Executive Director of the Philippine Carabao Center, gave the closing remarks.

The recordings and presentations of the webinar are available for viewing and free download in the ISAAA website. Email zbugnosen@isaaa.org for inquiries.

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