Golden Rice consultation attract public participation
Local government units of the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija and San Mateo, Isabela successfully engaged the public in a consultation on the proposal for the field trial application of Golden Rice.
Following the completion of the risk assessment of Golden Rice (GR2E), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) already proceeded with the public consultation for Golden Rice.
Golden Rice is a new type of rice developed to contain beta carotene in its grain.
This nutrient, which is similar to what is found in orange-colored fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body as needed.
The public consultation allowed community members in Nueva Ecija and Isabela to ask questions about the proposed field trial and submit their comments to the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI).
“This empowers the communities to participate responsibly in a critical biosafety decision-making process. The communities will be provided with all the information about the project and Golden Rice, which were also posted in the community’s most accessible areas,” Golden Rice project leader Reynante Ordonio said.
Local government officials, farmers, consumers, women’s groups, members of the academe, health workers, and other local community members joined the public consultation.
Ordonio added that the public will be further involved in a 30-day comment period and hearing.
The DA-BPI has also made public the consolidated risk assessment report containing the recommendations of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biosafety Committee (DENR-BC), Department of Health – Biosafety Committee (DOH-BC), and Socio-economic, Ethical and Cultural (SEC) expert to “grant the biosafety permit to conduct the field trial.” The report can be accessed via the DA-BPI website.
PhilRice, the government’s agency that is leading the development of Golden Rice in the Philippines, applied for a biosafety permit to conduct field trials on February 28, 2017 following the requirements of the Joint Department Circular No. 1 series of 2016 (JDC).
Transparency and public participation are key components of regulatory applications under the JDC.