On April 19, 2024, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), received the decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the Writ of Kalikasan against the vitamin A-enriched Golden Rice in the Philippines.

The decision revokes the biosafety permit for commercial propagation of Golden Rice, which was issued by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry in July 2021.

“We acknowledge the Court of Appeals’ decision regarding the Writ of Kalikasan proceedings against Golden Rice, and we are reviewing the implications of this to prepare our response,” said Dr. John C. de Leon, DA-PhilRice executive director.

The decision means DA-PhilRice must stop the commercial propagation and/or the conduct of activities relating to Golden Rice under the issued biosafety permit.

Golden Rice, also known as Malusog Rice, was developed with enhanced levels of beta-carotene to help tackle vitamin A deficiency (VAD), a form of malnutrition affecting more than 15 percent of children under six in the Philippines.

Golden Rice is intended to complement existing interventions to address VAD. It has the potential to double the vitamin A intake of children in the lowest 40 percent of the income distribution.

In addition to the Philippines, Golden Rice has already received food safety approvals from regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute