16-July-2015 SEARCA BIC Media Release
“We have the safeguards. At the level of each country, you have biosafety committees, you have different committees looking at food safety, environmental safety, and other concerns. But there are now guidelines in the Codex Alimentarius as to how we conduct risk assessment of GM food.” This was stated by Professor Emeritus in Food Science in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Dr. Ma. Concepcion Lizada on the safety of GM crops during her plenary presentation “Agriculture-Health Convergence: Synergy in Managing Non-communicable Diseases ” at the 37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines on July 8, 2015 at Manila Hotel.
Dr. Lizada talked about the opportunity in biotechnology, particularly biotech crops, for crop protection and availability to achieve food diversity. She presented the problem of using different chemical pesticides in crops such as the case in some eggplant farms in the Philippines, and mentioned that the pest resistant Bt eggplant being developed by UP Los Baños would have potential health benefits from reduced pesticide application. It was also cited in her presentation that modern biotech may be underappreciated when it comes to enhancing nutritional value of food.
This year’s NAST ASM focused on “The Challenges of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs): Responding Through Multisectoral Action” and discussed how different fields of specialization can contribute to fighting and preventing NCDs. Overall, Dr. Lizada concluded that agriculture can respond to health issues by providing diversity in food among Filipinos.
For more information, please contact:
SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center
College 4031, Laguna, PHILIPPINES
Telephone no.: (+63-49) 536 2290 ext 169
Fax no.: (+63-49) 536 4105