Another GMO approval: Philippines approves commercial growing of Bt insect resistant cotton

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The Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry issued a Biosafety Permit for the Commercial Propagation of Bt cotton (GFM cry1A) developed by the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA). The permit was granted to PhilFIDA after completion of the biosafety evaluation and the requirements for commercial propagation based on the DOST-DA-DENR-DOH-DILG Joint Department Circular (JDC) No. 1, Series of 2021. BPI issued the permit on August 24, 2023, and announced the approval on their website.

Bt cotton contains the Bt fusion gene, GFM cry1A, produced based on the protein template of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis. The Bt fusion gene confers resistance to bollworm infestation. Field trials have shown that this transformation leads to more harvestable bolls and reduces the use of pesticides. The increased cotton yield is projected to enhance the income of cotton farmers and provide more job opportunities, particularly the additional need for cotton pickers.

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