RP SCIENTISTS BACK BT CORN

Manila, May 27, 2003 -- The commercialization of the controversial Bacillus 
thuringiensis (Bt) corn in the country has gained support from an 
organization of scientists who believe the application of modern 
biotechnology will enhance agricultural productivity.

In its position paper, the National Academy of Science and Technology, the 
country's highest advisory body on science and technology, said genetically 
modified organisms (GMOs) do not only increase agricultural output, but 
also improve the lives of many people as they address hunger and poverty.

Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr. said he was delighted that the 
anti-Bt corn protesters had ended their 30-day hunger strike in front of 
the Department of Agriculture's main office in Quezon City.

Activists from the Philippine Greens and other groups claim that GMOs such 
as Bt corn could increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers. They added 
that Bt corn could also contaminate other crops since it carries its own 
toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis, to make the corn resistant to pests.

Lorenzo earlier rejected the activists' call for a moratorium on the 
commercialization of GMOs, saying there is no sufficient evidence that 
propagating Bt corn would be harmful to the health or the 
environment.  (Ronnie E. Calumpita, Correspondent )

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2003  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE