Philippines legislature advances bill to expedite 65-month-long GMO crop approval process

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The House Committee on Science and Technology has approved a bill seeking to eliminate the regulatory complications hampering the commercial release of biotechnology products.

The House panel, chaired by Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, passed House Bill No. 3372, the proposed Modern Biotechnology Act, principally authored by AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin.

“We already approved the bill with minor amendments. It aims to promote safe and responsible use of biotechnology,” he told the Manila Bulletin in a text message.

The bill was passed …. more than a month after the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) affirmed the safety of GR2E Golden Rice for direct use as food and feed, or for processing (FFP).

Related article:  UK aquaculture researchers welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson's pro-GMO, CRISPR stance as Brexit proceeds

Aumentado said the bill will be referred to the House Committee on Appropriations …. and House Committee on Ways and Means …. “Then, …. the bill will be reported out to the plenary for its approval,” he said.

“Right now, it takes 65 months or more to complete all requirements for the commercial release of modern biotechnology products. The cumbersome regulations can no longer be justified for they effectively discriminate against local public biotech research institutions …. ”  Garin, chairman of the House Committee on Economic Affairs, said.

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