Biotech Updates

Golden Rice Showcased at Science Conference in the Philippines

May 27, 2011

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), together with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), exhibited Golden Rice in the 21st Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines (FCSSP) National Scientific Conference held in Legazpi City, Philippines from May 9 to 14, 2011.

Golden Rice is genetically modified (GM) to produce grains with beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. It is considered as a potential tool to decrease vitamin A deficiency in the developing countries, particularly in the Philippines and Bangladesh. The GM crop will only be released to farmers "after the breeding work is completed and all appropriate biosafety and regulatory requirements have been met," according to Raul Boncodin, Golden Rice Project Manager at IRRI. Safety research is expected to be done in the Philippines by 2013, while in Bangladesh by 2015.

Antonio Alfonso, team leader of the Golden Rice project at PhilRice, also delivered a plenary presentation highlighting the Golden Rice project as a model for public-private partnership. The project is supported by various private, public, and philanthropic organization.

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