Biotech giant Monsanto Philippines has asked government policy makers to look more closely at proposals for the mandatory labelling of products with genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

The company's product development manager, Arnold Estrada, told BusinessWorld that while GM labelling is essential, policy makers have also got to consider the effects of such requirements on the food industry in the Philippines. Increased product analysis will inevitably prompt a rise in prices, "a substantial part of which would ultimately be shouldered by the consumers".

"There is no question on the move to label GMO products. Our concern is, are we ready to embark on it now without eventually impeding the trading of the products," he said.

Estrada also pointed to concerns over the public's "misconception" that Gm foods are unsafe, and insisted that the government should be careful not to jeopardize various industries.