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Future Ban on GM Products Would Threaten Farming

by 5m Editor
29 April 2009, at 10:38am

PHILIPPINES - A future ban on genetically modified (GM) products in the province of Negros Occidental could lead to the collapse of the livestock and poultry industries, a leading veterinarian has warned.

Visaya Daily Star reports that provincial veterinarian, Renante Decena, has warned of the imminent collapse of the livestock, poultry and game fowl industries of Negros Occidental if the province bans GM products.

Almost 90 per cent of the ingredients for poultry and livestock feeds needed in Negros Occidental are imported, with the majority having been genetically modified, he said.

The average feed consumption needed by Negros Occidental is 140 tonnes per day, 91.5 tonnes of which is corn, while the remaining 40 per cent is made up of soybeans, wheat, fishmeal, vitamins and minerals, he said..

The 91.5 tonnes of corn is needed for an estimated one million broilers, four million game birds, 500,000 layers, 800,000 million ducks and geese and 400,000 pigs, Dr Decena said.

The provincial government has recently ordered the shipping out of GM corn brought into Negros Occidental, in compliance with an ordinance banning GM products in the province.

Dr Decena noted that Negros Occidental imports 100 per cent of its soybeans, sorghum and wheat meal, and 90 per cent of its corn needs for feeds, most of which are GM.

A meeting to address the feed problem a meeting with stakeholders is scheduled for later this week, he said. If stakeholders seek a moratorium on the GM ban, it will depend on the Office of the Governor, Dr Decena added.

Governor Isidro Zayco said the provincial government has to enforce the ordinance banning GMO products in Negros Occidental because it is duty-bound to do so, reports Visaya Daily Star. However, he said that stakeholders with objections may submit their position papers to the provincial government for consideration.