Bt eggplant study leader and entomologist from the Institute of Plant Breeding – University of the Philippines Los Baños Dr. Lourdes D. Taylo shares her experiences and lessons from working in the field of biotechnology
This publication features the 17-year (2000-2016) study conducted by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (BIC). The study was conducted to see the trends in media reporting in print and online on agricultural biotechnology.
PUBLISHED BY: The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)
CITATION: Tome, Kristine Grace N., Mariechel J. Navarro, Sophia M. Mercado, and Maria Monina Cecilia
A. Villena. Seventeen Years of Media Reportage of Biotechnology in the Philippines. Philippine
Journal of Crop Science xx(xx): xx-xx.
The first 10 years (2000–2009) was initially published in 2011 covering the development and commercialization of biotech corn in the country as reported in print by the top three national dailies, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Star.
The following seven years (2010–2016) was published in 2017, covering the recent happenings in the Philippine biotechnology arena such as the research and development of biotech food crops, Bt eggplant (pest resistant eggplant) and Golden Rice (Vitamin A-enriched rice). Aside from the top three newspapers, articles published by Business Mirror were also included in the study because of its significant increase in the number of articles on agricultural biotechnology. Online articles from the four newspapers were also included in the study to get more holistic understanding of biotechnology discussion in the country. The articles were classified and analyzed according to type, topic, tone, focus, sources, media frames, and use of metaphors.
The Philippines was first country in Southeast Asia to plant biotech corn in 2003 after its approval for commercial planting in 2002. An estimated of 6.03 million hectares of land in the country was planted with biotech corn since then.
This infographics describes the Philippine adoption of biotech/GM crops in 2016. Despite a temporary decline in biotech/GM corn area in 2015, the Philippines has quickly rebounded production in 2016, when adoption rates for the crop increased due to the enormous benefits enjoyed by Filipino consumers, farmers and their families.
Ms. Kristine Grace Natividad-Tome, Program Associate of Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) discusses the knowledge sharing initiatives of ISAAA on all aspects of crop biotechnology for all stakeholders, including consumers, farmers, policy makers, scientists, and the media in Philippines and other developing countries.
Listen to the interview of Radyo ng Bayan with Ms. Tome that was aired in DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, 738 kHZ on 6 January 2017.
Listen to the interview of Radyo Teknolohiya with Mr. Charles Anthony Vega, Local Government Operations Officer III of the Bureau of Local Government Supervision-Department of Interior Local Government (DILG), Philippines as he talks about the local government initiatives and his views on the Joint Department Circular, a new biotech policy in the country that supersedes the Administrative Order No. 8.
Fr. Emmanuel Noli Alparce, a Filipino Catholic priest, tackles the moral and ethical stance of the Catholic Church on biotechnology and shares his experiences in biotech advocacy in the Philippines. He was appointed in 2014 as a member of the technical committee on information, education and communication of the Department of Agriculture’s biotechnology program on agriculture and fisheries, and in 2001 was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program of the US State Department to study biotechnology, agriculture and food safety in the United States.
Here’s the interview of Radyo Teknolohiya with Fr. Noli that was aired in DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, 738 kHZ on 14 October 2016.
Joseph Benemerito, a biotech corn farmer from Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, Philippines, shares his experiences in biotech corn farming and how biotechnology improve his life. Listen to the interview of Ms. Melly Tenorio, Radio Program Anchor of Radyo Teknolohiya, aired in DZRB Radyo ng Bayan, 738 kHZ on 26 August 2016.
On average, GMOs take 13 years and US$130 million of R&D before coming to market. And the regulatory process alone can take 5 to 7 years. This has been illustrated in the infographic developed by GMOAnswers.com:
From 1996 to 2014, biotech crops contributed to Food Security, Sustainability and the Environment/Climate Change by: increasing crop production valued at US$150 billion; providing a better environment, by saving 584 million kg a.i. of pesticides; in 2014 alone, reducing CO2 emissions by 27 billion kg, equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road for one year; conserving biodiversity by saving 152 million hectares of land from 1996-2014; and helped alleviate poverty for ~16.5 million small farmers and their families totaling ~65 million people, who are some of the poorest people in the world. Biotech crops are essential but are not a panacea – adherence to good farming practices such as rotations and resistance management, are a must for biotech crops as they are for conventional crops.
Source: ISAAA Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology (http://isaaa.org/kc)
Following a remarkable run of 19 years of consecutive yearly growth from 1996 to 2014, the annual global hectarage of biotech crops peaked at 181.5 million in 2014, compared with 179.7 million hectares in 2015, equivalent to a net marginal year-to-year decrease of 1.0% between 2014 and 2015. Some countries increased their total plantings, whilst others reduced their hectarage principally due to the current low prices of commodity crops; these hectarage decreases are likely to revert to higher hectarage levels when crop prices improve. The global hectarage of biotech crops increased 100-fold from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 179.7 million hectares in 2015, making biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times.
Source: ISAAA Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology (http://isaaa.org/kc)
This monograph covers the extracted and modified section of ISAAA Brief 49: Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014 . It features a comprehensive overview of the adoption, impact and future prospects of biotech crops in the Philippines.
PUBLISHED BY: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center.
CITATION: Aldemita, Rhodora R., Villena, Maria Monina Cecilia A., and Clive James. 2015. Biotech Corn in the Philippines: A Country Profile. Los Baños, Laguna: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture - Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC).
Biotech corn adoption in the Philippines increased at an average of 5% annually since it was planted in 2003. The Philippine regulatory system established since 1992, revised and updated in 1999, 2002, and 2006 with various amendments and supporting memoranda set the adoption of biotech corn in the Philippines. Research institutions that were established to conduct research on biotechnology have been amply supported by government and international sources. Scientists and government continue to support biotech crop research in the Philippines with locally-developed biotech crops in the pipeline: beta carotene-enriched rice, insect resistant eggplant and cotton, and virus resistant papaya. Farmers and farmer leaders express support for biotech crops and share their stories on how they are benefiting from the technology.
Over the weekend, more than 2,500 of the world’s experts, practitioners, policymakers and business innovators began to gather in Sweden to advance thinking and develop solutions to our planet’s most critical natural resource, water. The theme for the 25th World Water Week meeting, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), is “Water for Sustainable Growth.”
The world’s leading thinkers and doers will build on the decisive sustainability actions of the past year, the United Nation’s agenda for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Conference of the Parties agreement made in Paris (COP21), and collaborate on how today’s innovation in water stewardship will help us produce food, energy and jobs well into the future. They will all bring different solutions to address the challenge of our age: doing more with less.
Every day, our farmers are using new tools and technology to do more with less so they can solve for water efficiency. One of our farmers, Lawson Mozley, is a sixth generation farmer whose family has farmed the same land in the Florida Panhandle since the 1850s. For Mozley and other farmers, water is critical to delivering their mission to feed their families, communities and the world.
“For farmers, water represents balance. Not enough and our crops won’t grow. Too much, and they will drown and we will lose nutrients as they flow away.” Drought and water scarcity, on the rise since the 1970s, are challenging farmers to use less water to grow more food. And many are turning to biotechnology and GM crops to protect the sustainability of their natural resources and their livelihoods.
Farmers like Mozley embrace biotechnology solutions because they offer tools to help them use less water and breed stronger, more drought-tolerant plants. The use of herbicide resistant GM crops allows them to adopt conservation tillage or no-till practices, which preserves nutrients and increases the amount of water the land can store. Mozley says that “preserving soil and water resources is key to agricultural sustainability. For generations, my family has used the best technology available to preserve the land and water that we depend on.”
From the Florida Panhandle to the African nation of Tanzania, more farmers are looking to change what they plant and how they farm to combat severe drought that results from the extreme changes in weather patterns. Dr. Esther Ngumbi, a research scientist at Auburn University and Kenyan native, believes biotechnology can have a hand in helping farmers both in the U.S. and in her homeland thrive in the face of adversity. “As they face a continuous decline of rainfall and recurring droughts, African farmers will need all the tools and resources they can get to adapt to the effects of climate change. Biotechnology will continue to play a big role and farmers should be open to considering planting genetically modified crop varieties that have been bred to grow with minimal amounts of water.”
Farmers, no matter where they are located, all face the balancing act of feeding the hungry and caring for the land. The efficient and thoughtful use of water is critical to our farmers’ ability to deliver on their two-pronged missions, and the effectiveness of GMOs and GM crops has earned an important place in farming toolboxes.
-Written by Kate Hall in Forbes.com. Kate Hall is managing director of the Council for Biotechnology Information and GMO Answers spokesperson. See article link here.
Dr. Lourdes Taylo, scientist from the University of the Philippines Los Banos – Institute of Plant Breeding, shared the potential benefits of the development of Bt eggplant in the Philippines in the morning show, “Good Morning, Pilipinas!”, aired on local TV channel (PTV 4) in the country last 12 August 2016.
1st Prize, Amateur: Potential Benefits of Bt Eggplant
Michaella Louise V. Candelario
University of the Philippines Los Banos / UP Agricultural Society
1st Prize, Amateur: Biotech in Everyday Life
Marielle C. Cruz
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
2nd Prize: Biotech in Everyday Life
Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal
1st Place, Professional: Biotech in Everyday Life
Anna Cherylle Ramos
University of Sto. Tomas