Philippine government sets up new inter-agency group to regulate GMOs

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Five government agencies will pool their expertise together to address the technical pitfalls that led to the recall of all field testing of genetically modified eggplant in the [Philippines], which stalled its commercial production.

A joint department circular . . . bundled the expertise of the departments of Health (DOH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide additional support to the effort of the departments of Agriculture and Science and Technology to push through with the tests.

. . .[Field] tests on Bacillus thuringiensis eggplant. . . were met with stiff legal opposition from environmentalists, who filed a case with the Supreme Court to stop the field tests. By 2014 the Court ordered a freeze on all tests.

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The circular . . . was an attempt to address the legal and technical loopholes that guided the implementation of the field tests. . .  the circular. . . was formalized in March, and officially recognized as an interagency arrangement to handle permits and licensing to proceed anew with the development of the GMO testing in the country.

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