Philippines upgrades GMO and pathogen detection lab
Dec. 24, 2009
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry Plant Quarantine Service (BPI-PQS) upgraded its molecular testing facility for plant pathogen and GMO detection in order to enhance efficiency and effectivity of lab analyses and comply with international standards. The improvement of the facility and procurement of necessary equipment were provided through a grant from the DA-Biotechnology Program Unit through the assistance of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA).
The upgraded facility was donated by DA and ISAAA to the BPI during the turn-over ceremony held last December 15. “The Philippines’ biotech regulation continues to evolve and learn from its experiences since the first approval of GM product in 2002. We need to set-up necessary infrastructure for the testing and detection of GMOs and plant pathogen in order to continuously perform our tasks as the main regulatory agency for biotechnology in the country” said BPI Assistant Director Clarito Barron during the turn-over ceremony. To date, the Bureau has now approved 51 events for the direct use and importation of several biotech crops such as alfalfa, corn, soybean and potato.
The enhancement of the molecular laboratory of BPI-PQS will further boost the confidence of the general public on the capability of BPI in implementing DA Administrative Order No.8, the policy that governs the importation and release into the environment of plants and plant products derived from the use of modern biotechnology. With increased capability, the molecular laboratory can carry out testing of agricultural products suspect of GMOs not approved by AO No.8 and monitor the entry of pests of quarantine importance. The facility also opens opportunities to test samples to be sent by other neighboring countries for GMO and pathogen detection.
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