Filipino scientists push back against anti-GMO activists’ criticism of vitamin-A enhanced Golden Rice

golden rice
via IRRI

Lawmakers should be open-minded about the biotechnological developments being conducted in the country so as not to impede progress of projects, such as Golden Rice, that seek to curb poverty and improve the lives of Filipinos.

Diocesan priest Fr. Emmanuel Alparce, a member of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Biotechnology Information, Education and Communication Committee, made the remark after legislators belonging to the Makabayan bloc filed a resolution seeking to conduct an inquiry on the development of Golden Rice in the country.

The lawmakers argued that Golden Rice is “merely” a promotional product of agro-chemical corporations using public institutions “to make possible the social acceptance of genetic engineering in food and agriculture.”

The Makabayan bloc said the technology, methodology, seeds and variety to advance the Golden Rice are being owned by Syngenta, an agro-chemical transnational corporation that profits by investing in the global seed industry.  

However, Alparce disputed this claim, saying the Golden Rice being bred by PhilRice was donated by Syngenta for humanitarian reasons.

“So, it is currently owned by the Philippine government. No multinational, especially Syngenta, will have any patent or control with the Golden Rice to be sold in the Philippines,” he said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The ‘golden’ GMO dilemma

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