Biotech Updates

Philippines Continues Biotech Lead in Southeast Asia - USDA FAS Report

December 1, 2022

In its November 14, 2022, Agricultural Biotechnology Annual, the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service reports that the Philippines continues to be a leader in biotechnology in Southeast Asia, having been the first in the region to have a regulatory framework on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The report says the Philippines is a regional biotechnology leader and the first country in the world to approve Golden Rice for commercial propagation. The Bt Eggplant biosafety permit, signed on October 17, 2022, allows commercial propagation of the crop. Farmers in selected provinces in the country have started planting Golden Rice, while biotech corn acceptance has grown, with more than 600,000 hectares planted in 2021.

The Annual also points out that the country is moving forward with the implementation of three regulations: revised Joint Department Circular (JDC1); Department of Agriculture (DA) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 8 pursuant to the revised JDC1, which provides the regulatory policy for importation, handling and use, transboundary movement, release into the environment, and management of GE plants and plants products derived from the use of modern biotechnology; and the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines NCBP Resolution No. 1, or, “the Regulation of Plant and Plant Products Derived from the Use of Plant Breeding Innovations (PBIs) or New Plant Breeding Techniques (NBTs).” This regulation covers plants and plant products derived from PBI/NBTs and provides guidance for determining whether or not a specific plant should be regulated as a GE crop.

The passing of these three regulations signifies the country's commitment to science and improvements in biotechnology.

For more details, download the Agricultural Biotechnology Annual.

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