Quezon City, MANILA – The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) attended the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) annual Committee on International Trade (CIT) meeting.
In the meeting were Agricultural attaches from Belgium, China, Japan, Switzerland and the USA where participants discussed the current trade performance in agriculture and fisheries sectors in terms of import and export opportunities/prospects. PCAF staff and members of the private sectors were also present in the said meeting, which was held at the Apacible Hall, PCAF, Department of Agriculture on December 17, 2019.
A major part of the agenda is the outcome of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee Meeting, where PCAARRD provided substantial comments and recommendations. The WTO SPS Committee Meeting, held on November 6 to 8 in Geneva, Switzerland, focused on new measures intended to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants.
PCAARRD particularly reviewed the EU Policies on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) on pesticides and other active substances in food and feed of plant and animal origin that may have adverse impacts on Philippine exports to the European Union (EU). The PCAF Committee on International Trade (CIT) adopted the position submitted by DOST-PCAARRD regarding the new measures on lowering the MRLs for pesticides and other active substances such as Import Tolerances (ITs), which have potential adverse impact on agricultural exports particularly the Philippines.
PCAARRD in general advocated that the revision of MRLs should be scientifically valid and must be aligned with the agreements set with the WTO and that the MRLS should not be used as a trade barrier. Should the new MRLs be fully implemented, PCAARRD suggested options to prepare the country in complying with the new policies. These are reviewing the guidelines of good agricultural practices, revisiting the list of FPA registered pesticides, and evaluating the practical use and efficacy of the identified active ingredient substitutes.
The meeting was attended by Ms. Annette Tobias and Ms. Christine Ann Predo of the Socio-Economics Research Division of PCAARRD. Joining them as S&T Consultant is Mr. Eric Jhon Cruz of UP Los Baños. Mr. Cruz is a specialist on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and the project leader of the PCAARRD-funded project, “Development of internal control system (ICS) for conventional production of eggplant and cabbage that meet food safety standards.”