The Philippines has approvedGolden Rice, a rice variety genically
engineeredto contain additional levels of beta-carotene, which the body
converts into vitamin A. The Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau
of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) announced that a biosafety permit for
propagating the Golden Rice has been issued on July 21, 2021.
Golden Rice is engineered to provide up to 50 percent of the estimated
average requirement (EAR) for vitamin A of young children, the age group
most susceptible to VAD in the Philippines. Around one in five children
from the poorest communities in the Philippines suffer from vitamin A
deficiency (VAD), a condition affecting an estimated 190 million
children worldwide. The condition is the most common cause of childhood
blindness and a contributing factor to a weakened immune system.
Dr. John C. de Leon, Executive Director of the DA-Philippine Rice
Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) said the permit states that Golden Rice
has "undergone satisfactory biosafety assessment pursuant to the Joint
Department Circular No.1, Series of 2016". With this permit, De Leon
said that Golden Rice can now be planted for commercial production,
though it still needs varietal registration by the National Seed
Golden Rice has already received food safety approvals in Australia, New
Zealand,Canada, and theUnited States of Amerika, but the Philippines is
the first country to approve commercial cultivation. Golden Rice is also
currently undergoing final regulatory review in Bangladesh.
First conceived by Professors Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer in the late
1980s, IRRI became the first licensee of the scientists' work in 2001.
Golden Rice is part of the Healthier Rice Project carried out by
DA-PhilRice in partnership with the International Rice Research
Philippines becomes first country to approve nutrient-enriched ‚??Golden
Rice‚?Ě for planting | International Rice Research Institute (irri.org)