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A Review of New Plant Breeding Techniques (NBTs) from the Viewpoint of Regulation

This review starts with a discussion on the state-of-the-art of the different new plant breeding techniques (NBTs) (Section II). A total of eight techniques were covered in this review, namely, site-directed nucleases (SDNs), oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (or ODM), cisgenesis and intragenesis, RNA-dependent DNA methylation (or RdDM), grafting with genetically modified (GM) material, reverse breeding, agroinfiltration, and synthetic genomics. Here, each technique was assessed in terms of their tendency to produce novel combination of genetic materials in their final products, as well as on how such novel combination can be detected. Section III reviews the prevailing regulatory framework for NBTs in other countries and focuses on a total of 10 different countries/areas. Emphasis of the review was on such countries’ level of regulation of NBTs or GMOs and their basis for such regime. 

Section IV follows with some insights into the regulatory landscape in the Philippines. This section recognizes the important role of the 1987 Philippine Constitution in fostering science and technology as well as the health of the people and their right to a balanced and healthful ecology. Moreover, it presents several legislations enacted that support and promote science and technology and the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology, particularly those relevant to agriculture, food security, and technical capability building, including Republic Act 8435 and Executive Order 292, series (s.) 1987. This section also presents international agreements (e.g., Cartagena Protocol) and other pertinent issuances and guidelines on GMOs, as well as a review of some local/provincial ordinances relating to GMOs. Lastly, this section provides a glimpse of applicable regulations for products of NBTs. Recognizing that, in general, such products are non-GMOs and, therefore, similar to conventional plant products, the mandates of the different agencies likely to regulate them (e.g., Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Plant Industry, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources) have been included in this section.


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