Corn farmers in the Philippines have urged the government to issue policies upholding the trials of genetically modified (GM) crops.

According to Manila Standard Today, the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PMFI) in a resolution asked President Benigno Aquino III to continue the field trials of GM crops, especially Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplant and Golden Rice.

Initial trials show Bt eggplant can be grown without using chemical spray, resulting in better health to farmers and consumers. Golden Rice, meanwhile, is rich in Vitamin A that has the potential to spare 230 million children globally from Vitamin A deficiency.

“From 1996 to 2011, biotechnology crops contributed to food security and climate change mitigation by increasing crop production value by 98.2 billion USD. It has provided a better environment by saving 473 million kilos in active ingredients of synthetic chemical pesticides,” said PMFI.

The Court of Appeals of the Philippines in September issued a decision affirming its writ of kalikasan on Bt eggplant, stopping the crop’s field trial and commercial development.

PMFI said it is supporting corn farmers who plant Bt corn and favours the sharing of the benefits in planting GM crops with other growers.

The GM Bt corn is now planted on 730,000 hectares in the Philippines , making the country an exporter of the commodity.-VNA