SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija — The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) conducted a media dialogue dubbed as “Making Rice Healthier” where it introduced another rice variety, the “Golden Rice” held at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station in Maligaya, in the said science city on Wednesday (Jan. 9)
About 40 media practitioners from Central Luzon particularly from the provinces of Bulacan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac convened and learned the latest information on the healthier rice project of PhilRice.
Dr. Ronan Zagado, head of PhilRice DevCom Division and one of the resource speaker said that the dialogue was to enlighten the media about the nutrition situation in the country and share updates about the healthier rice project and other nutrition-related initiatives at PhilRice and also to help them to disseminate information to the community through media partners.
They also introduced the Golden Rice, a complementary food-based solution to address Vitamin A deficiency, rice where it contains beta carotene, which converted to Vitamin A upon consumption or as needed by the body.
Last year, Golden Rice was also attested by several international regulatory agencies that is safe and nutritious as ordinary rice where some global organizations and stakeholders in the country expressed full support for the continuation of the project, Dr. Reynante Ordonio- PhilRice Healthier Rice project leader said.
It was learned that despite the endorsement and support, it was not yet approved by concern government agencies such as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Health (DOH) for human consumption.
During the dialogue, the experts’ resource speakers emphasized the prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency in the country, how the Golden Rice could help address it.
Ordonio added that PhilRice together with its partner-agencies such as the IRRI remains committed to develop Golden Rice as one of the healthier rice varieties and to make safe and nutritious rice available, affordable and accessible to all Filipinos at all time. (RONDA Balita Online News)