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PIA Press Release

"3-in-1" rice country's first GM rice

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu, Philippines (13 September) -- The country's first genetically modified (GM) rice is gaining acceptance experts believe by 2011, it will become a hit to fight global malnutrition.

Scientists at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Strive Foundation called this golden grain wonder as "3-in-1" rice because it is a genetically improved variety fortified with Vitamin A, iron and Zinc; identified by researchers as the vitamin and minerals mostly lacking in children and pregnant women around the world.

Gerard Barry, coordinator of the Golden Rice Network said that about one billion pregnant women in Asia are iron deficient; another 2-billion people lack zinc and an estimated of about 250-million children are Vitamin A deficient.

A study from the DA's Biotechnology Program Office revealed that more farmers are eager to try the new rice variety hoping to reduce their costs and losses that are brought about by pests.

DA-BPO director Alicia Ilaga said that the impact study of the GM rice covered close to 1000 farmers and consumers, randomly picked in the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte, and majority of them answered they are willing to plant, buy and sell GM rice,

Between 49 and 55 percent of the respondents, the study said are willing to pay more for the GM Vitamin A rice while 85% expressed their desire to know more about rice biotechnology through the media.

Scientists, agricultural experts and researchers are excited over the new "3-in-1" GM rice because to them, this is the answer to reduce poverty and malnutrition in the country. (PIA-Cebu) [top]

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