Asia watches as GMO legal challenge threatens Philippines food supply
* Philippine govt agencies scrambling to issue new GMO rules
* Want to sign regulations by Feb. 23
* Move comes after top court demands overhaul of previous laws
* Philippines has been seen as regional trailblazer in GMO
By Manolo Serapio Jr and Enrico Dela Cruz
MANILA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A legal challenge to the Philippines' rules on genetically modified organisms is threatening to spark a food crisis in the country and could cloud the outlook for GM technology around Asia.
Government agencies are scrambling to set new regulations on GMOs by Feb. 23 after the Southeast Asian nation's top court late last year demanded an overhaul of existing rules, halting GM planting and issuance of new GM import permits until that was done.
The Supreme Court was acting on a petition by environmental activists led by Greenpeace, with the move likely to be closely watched by governments elsewhere as the Philippines is seen as a trailblazer for GMO.
The country was the first in the region to allow planting and commercialisation of GM corn, which it did in 2002, and has permitted GM crop imports for more than a decade. Continuación...