Facebook Twitter Google RSS

Sep 3, 2010

Philippines Prepares to Release BT FSBR GM Eggplant in 2011/2012

On 3 September 2010 the University of the Philippines (UP) issued a press release that it was preparing to "set a record" with the cultivation of the first GM eggplant as the first GM crop in the country.  The GM eggplant will be genetically modified (GM) with Bt to be fruit-and-shoot-borer-resistant (FSBR).

UP Los Baños Prof. Desiree Hautea, former director of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) estimated that  Bt eggplant will "increase the income of eggplant farmers by 200 percent."  Seeds from these initial UP experimental planting made in May 2010 should be available to the public as early as October 2011.

The UP press release stated that the Bt eggplant was "expected to reduce the use of pesticides, and thus lessen health and environmental hazards and maintain biodiversity. Pesticides kill non-target lepidopterans or winged insects, such as cutworms, Helicoverpa and semilooper, and sucking insects like leafhopper, mites, aphids and thrips."

"The FSBR eggplant was first developed by Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Co. (Mahyco) in India. Containing the Bt cry1Ac gene (the same gene used in Bt cotton), it was tested for seven years in different climatic zones in India, starting in 2001. Food and feed safety tests conducted showed no change in nutritional composition, no allergenicity, no toxicity to animals including rats, cows, goats, and birds, and no change in cooking and protein requirements."

"Mahyco licensed the FSBR eggplant “royalty-free” to UPLB through a public-private partnership, which means that the Philippines is free to bring it to commercial production. After the licensing agreement, Filipino scientists started research in 2003 in India. They introduced the FSBR eggplant technology to Philippine eggplant varieties they brought there. The breed was brought to the Philippines, where it underwent contained trials in UP-IPB in 2003, confined field trials in 2007, and now, the current multi-location trial all over the country."

Francisco, Sergio R.  "Projected Impacts of Fruit and Shoot Borer Resistant Eggplant in the Philippines,"  Manila: ISAAA, 2010.

 Varona, Bernice P.  "Pioneer borer-free eggplants readied," UP Newsletter, University of the Philippines, Manila, Volume xxxi, Number 06, 1 June 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
View all posts by Margaret →


GR2's Pinterest Shareboard "Global View - Spectacular Spaces, Renewal Spaces"


©2009-2014 GR2 Global LLC

All photos used for general educational purposes and authors/owners given credit. Please send an email to info@gr2global.com to discuss any content or copyright issues.