Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Healthier rice on agenda of Philippines food officials' visit

IRRI's healthier rice research leader
Gerard Barry (left) and Oscar Gutierrez (right)
of the FDA.
Senior representatives of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) visited IRRI Headquarters on 29 July 2013 for a briefing on the Institute’s research on healthier rice, including Golden Rice.

The FDA’s mission is to ensure the safety, efficacy, purity, and quality of products that it regulates through effective implementation of the national regulatory framework consistent with international best practices. The FDA has shown leadership in helping accurately communicate the status and safety of GM crops approved in the Philippines when it issued a safety advisory on 24 June 2013 titled, The Safety of Genetically-Modified Foods Produced Through Modern Biotechnology.

The briefing for the FDA at IRRI is part of an ongoing series of meetings with government and other stakeholders in the Philippines to inform them about the Institute’s work on healthier rice.

During the visit, V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships, provided an overview of IRRI’s research. Gerard Barry, leader of the Golden Rice project, talked in detail about IRRI’s research on developing healthier rice.

The group visited the Golden Rice screenhouse to view plants and grain samples, the gene transformation laboratory for a glimpse of IRRI’s GM rice research, and the International Rice Genebank to see IRRI’s rich collection of rice varieties conserved there.

The guests from the FDA were Kenneth Hartigan-Go, MD, director general; Cristal Ann Laquindanum, MD, head executive assistant, Office of the Director General; Maria Victoria Pinion, OIC, Product Research and Standard Development Division, CFRR; Flordeliza Abrahan, head, Food Laboratory Division, CFRR; Oscar Gutierrez, DVM, OIC, Policy and Planning Office; Abram Joseph Magnaye, DOH-DOST-PCHRD fellow (economics), PPO-FDA; and Rudolph Tan.

View more photos of the visit.

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