Biotech Updates

Philippines Stands Firm on Science-based Biosafety Regulations

May 9, 2008

The country's biosafety authorities reaffirmed its science-based regulations in a recently held public consultation at the Department of Agriculture (DA) headquarters. The Departments of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Health and the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines jointly prepared the First Philippine Cartagena Report, in consultation with stakeholders, to support the national policy of promoting the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology. Though a new player, the Philippines has already put in place legal, administrative and other measures that are compliant with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB).

The Bureau of Plant Industry of the DA also explained the sampling procedures and rigid GMO testing done for unapproved events in the current shipment of rice from the USA. The results showed negative presence of unapproved events. Greenpeace Southeast Asia Sustainable Agriculture campaigner Daniel Ocampo admitted that their samples did not come from the shipment that was tested by the BPI. The agency also encouraged stakeholders to submit reports on perceived biosafety implementation gaps to their office for appropriate action.

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