Monsanto warns vs illegal Bt corn
Monsanto Philippines asked the government to address the proliferation of illegal Bt corn seeds and prevent damage to farmers and industry.
Monsanto Philippines regulatory policy and scientific affairs lead Gabriel Romero said the increased incidence of counterfeit seeds could affect local corn farmers and the country’s corn industry.
“Adulterated seeds or fake seeds directly affect our farmers. The seeds may be low-priced but they are also of low-quality. Worse, they come out without proper stewardship measures, and thereby threaten GM technology and farmers livelihood,” he said.
The biotechnology company estimated that more than 10 percent of the Philippines Bt corn seeds were produced illegally by unauthorized companies.
These seeds are produced with Bt and RR traits but are sold to the market as conventional seeds, it said.
A 2015 survey showed that farmers who used counterfeit seeds observed a significant decrease in their yield and negative net income brought about by issues like smaller grain, unfilled ear and higher susceptibility to pests.