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Crop Biotech Update

RP Biotech Expert Assures Consumers that GMOs are Safe

September 28, 2007

Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured consumers that all the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) approved for commercial release for food, feed or processing, are safe and pose no health risk to the consumers. The statement was made amidst the criticisms and protests against GMOs by cause-oriented groups. According to Dr. Saturnina Halos, chief of the DA-Biotech Advisory Team (DA-BAT), these GMOs have been proven scientifically to have no danger to the environment, contrary to fears raised by environmentalists.

As a support to her claim, Halos noted that none of the 44 GMO products approved by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) since December 2002 has caused any ailment among the farmers who planted them and the people who consumed them. She also defended the process by which the BPI approves the application for the commercial release of GMOs, saying that the government has not rushed headlong into approving products that eventually would threaten people and the environment. To address the criticisms raised by anti-GMO groups, Halos noted that the safety protocol followed by the Philippines competes with the system operating in the European Union, which has the strictest scientific regulations as far as GMOs are concerned.