Washington International Law Journal


Global concern persists about the use of genetically modified crops (“GM crops”). This concern originates from the divergent perspectives of nations with a stake in either the production or consumption of GM crops. Proponents of GM crops in developing countries claim that the crops could increase food supply by improving plant resistance to pesticides, thereby alleviating the need for farmers to purchase chemicals that are frequently expensive or unavailable. However, many organizations and countries are hesitant or outright opposed to GM crops, particularly regarding their potentially undesirable ecological and agricultural consequences. As one of the first Asian nations to approve and commercialize a GM crop, the Philippines serves as a useful case study for evaluating a developing nation’s strategy for regulating the environmental impacts of agricultural biotechnology in the face of international pressures. Though among the first of the Asian nations to enact biosafety regulations, the Philippines’ existing regulations do not adequately protect the environment because they lack enforcement power and leave gaps in coverage. Legislation that would create a more streamlined regulatory process and endow the regulating agencies with stronger enforcement authority should be enacted.

First Page