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July 26, 2000


402 Philippine Scientists Endorse Ag Biotechnology


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From: "NAST, Philippines"

Please find below the text of our position paper
in support to modern biotechnology so far endorsed by 402 scientists
from Philippines. I would be pleased to send the complete list to any
one interested.


Filipino Scientists in Support of Biotechnology

We, at the National Academy of Science and Technology—the advisory and
recognition body of the government of the Republic of the Philippines on
science and technology--and the scientists-undersigned believe and support
the application of modern biotechnology as a tool to enhance agricultural
productivity; to feed and improve the lives of the fast-growing population
and to address environmental degradation, hunger, and poverty. We also
strongly advocate using sound science as the basis for regulatory and
political decisions pertaining to biotechnology. We promote the careful,
unbiased and science-based evaluation of technologies and products of modern

Modern biotechnology has tremendous potential and offers remarkable
innovations to support our country's efforts to attain food security and
global competitiveness. Developing countries are expected to benefit more
than developed countries from biotechnology in the areas of food and
agriculture, health and medicine, environmental protection and trade and

Products of modern biotechnology promise to reduce farmers’ high input
costs, increase their yields while helping conserve the ecosystem and enable
crops to grow under normally unfavorable conditions. Biotechnology products
can even provide greater benefits to consumers, who are the ultimate
beneficiaries of technological innovations. For instance, modern
biotechnology can be used as a tool to attain greater nutritional security
through enhanced products qualities such as higher vitamin contents, better
protein quality and prolonged shelf life. Modern biotechnology can also
produce healthier oils and develop vaccines to fight dreadful diseases like
cholera and malaria.

We recognize that no technology is without risk. However, we have great
confidence in the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, the
inter-department agency tasked to regulate R&D in modern biotechnologies,
which has been cautious and stringent in implementing its regulations. In
addition, the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agriculture and
Fisheries Product Standards and the Department of Health's Bureau of Food
and Drugs are jointly setting up mechanisms for
regulation food safety and commercializing modern biotechnology-derived food
and feed products.

We therefore advocate and promote the safe and responsible applications of
modern biotechnology in science and technology, agriculture and food, health
and medicine, environment and trade and industry --for the upliftment of the
Filipino Nation. Considering the tremendous potential of this technology,
we urge policymakers to base their decisions on sound scientific evidence.

Filipino Scientists in Support of Biotechnology