Philippines: First Country to approve Golden Rice for Planting

  • 27 Jul 2021

The Philippines has become the first country in the world to approve commercial cultivation of vitamin A-rich Golden Rice.

  • The Filipino variety of Golden Rice was developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to contain additional levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
  • According to IRRI, Golden Rice is genetically engineered to provide up to 50% of the estimated average requirement for vitamin A of young children.
  • Golden Rice has already received food safety approvals from regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America but the Philippines is the first country to approve commercial cultivation.

About Golden Rice

  • Golden rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa) produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the edible parts of rice.
  • It is intended to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary vitamin A.
  • Golden rice differs from its parental strain by the addition of three beta-carotene biosynthesis genes. The parental strain can naturally produce beta-carotene in its leaves, where it is involved in photosynthesis. However, the plant does not normally produce the pigment in the endosperm, where photosynthesis does not occur.
  • In 2005, Golden Rice 2 was announced, which produces up to 23 times as much beta-carotene as the original golden rice.