PH authorities urged to address proliferation of counterfeit seeds
Monsanto Philippines urged the government to help address the proliferation of illegal Bt corn seeds as it poses a threat to farmers and the entire corn industry.
Gabriel Romero, Regulatory Policy and Scientific Affairs Lead of Monsanto Philippines, elaborated on the increased incidence of counterfeit seeds and its emerging threats to the country’s corn industry.
“Adulterated seeds or fake seeds directly affect our farmers. The seeds may be low-priced but they are also of low-quality. Worse, they come out without proper stewardship measures, and thereby threaten GM technology and farmer’s livelihood,” Romero said.
“We want to put an end to this concern, as it sets in danger the very livelihood of our corn farmers as well as the corn industry,” he added.
At present, more than 10 percent of Philippines’ Bt corn seeds are produced illegally by unauthorized companies.
These seeds are produced with BT and RR traits but are sold to the market as “conventional seeds”.
According to a survey in 2015, farmers who used counterfeit seeds observed a significant decrease in their yield and negative net income brought about by issues like smaller grain, unfilled ear and higher susceptibility to pests.