Ban on GMOs lifted
The Philippines can now import GMO (genetically modified organism) products such as Bt corn and soybean as well as seeds for planting Bt corn.
Malaya Business Insight reported that Joint Department Circular No. 1, which covered the lifting of the ban and which was published last March 30, took effect last week.
The JDC brings relief to worried industries using GMO products such as feed for cattle, swine and chicken and, in the case of soybeans, as food additives.
The ban had caused worries of a possible food shortage due to the demand for soybean meal in the Philippines.
The Philippines is the second largest market for soybean meal from the United States, importing up to 2.2 million tons of soybean meal a year.
This also means some 415,000 Filipino farmers can cultivate Bt corn in 831,000 hectares, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.
The Philippines is the first country in Asia to allow the planting of a genetically modified crop, the Bt corn, and the world has been watching the legal battle on GMOs.
Bt corn has raised corn production in the Philippines which greatly reduced its imports by 25,000 tons.