CRISPR and climate change: Philippines sees crop gene editing as powerful ally in fight against global warming

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Credit: ISAAA

[Philippines Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunado de la Peña has] underscored the importance of [new breeding techniques, or] NBTs in accelerating the development of crop varieties as compared to conventional breeding, 

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunado de la Peña. Credit: MSN

Aside from opening up opportunities to further improve our approach in agriculture, the NBTs also “creates the potential to breed plant varieties that have natural resistance to fungal diseases and to evolve traits at a pace that keeps up with the evolving pest.”

“It creates the ability to breed crops and grasses that perform better with fewer inputs reducing costs to farmers and reducing impacts on the environment, and it creates the ability to breed plants that can adapt to the challenges of climate change,” he added.

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….[T]he DOST Chief also stressed the need for the Philippines to put in place a robust and scientifically-sound regulatory system on modern biotechnology.

“Twenty years ago, there was much debate about genetically modified crops. It is fair to say that there was understandable public concern about moving genes across natural biological boundaries. But it will always be important to have a robust and scientifically-sound regulatory system in place to govern genetic modification,” he said. 

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