Negros Occidental Gov. Isidro Zayco yesterday said he has forwarded the recommendation of the ad hoc committee tasked to study the ordinance banning Genetically Modified Organisms and concerns of the Philippine Sugar Research Institute Foundation to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for action.
Board Member Adolfo Mangao, ad hoc committee chairman, earlier said he recommended to Zayco the continued ban on the entry of living genetically modified organisms into Negros Occidental, and the extension of the transitory provision for non-living GMOs until the provincial government has the capability to detect them.
PHILSURIN, in a letter to Zayco, expressed its opposition to the implementation of Provincial Ordinance 007 banning GMOs in its current form. PHILSURIN does not have living GMO as defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
The letter said that PHILSURIN has in its possession several primers used in DNA finger-printing of sugarcane, a procedure used to characterize thousands of accessions in our germplasm collections. A well characterized germplasm collection allows the Institution to plan genetic crosses of distantly related cultivars with unique attributes in order to take advantage of their diverse genetic traits, it said.
This technique optimizes the industry’s hybridization work that produces over 100,000 clones yearly. Some of these primers were also used by PHILSURIN to develop genetic markers for disease resistance, it added.
Zayco said he is forwarding concerns over the GMO ban to the SP since it was the body that created it and has the power to amend it.
Meanwhile, Sugar Regulatory Administrator Rafael Coscolluela yesterday corrected a sugar production estimate he gave the DAILY STAR Sunday.
The initial estimate for crop year 2008-2009 was 2.23 million metric tons but to date is it 1.095 million MT and could reach 2.095 million metric tons at most and not 2.1million MT, he said.*CPG