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Philippine GM maize area up two-thirds in 2010

The area under genetically modified maize lines in the Philippines went up by 66% to 543,000 ha in 2010, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reports. That came about despite a 7% decline in overall area under maize to 2.5 million ha. Maize acreage under GM crops was up to 22% from the 13% in the previous year. Stacked trait lines comprised 90% of the area under GM maize. There are eight GM maize lines approved for cultivation in the country, of which three are stacked. Insect resistant GM eggplants (aubergines) resistant to fruit and shoot borers ( Leucinodes orbonalis) are expected to be commercialised in the country by early 2013, the FAS estimates. The commercial release of GM bio-fortified Golden Rice is expected to follow shortly thereafter. GM maize has been cultivated in the Philippines since 2002 ( Agrow No 414, p 23). The Philippine Department of Agriculture has been supportive of biotechnology and also provided subsidies to growers of Bt maize ( Agrow No 532, p18)

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