This is a short post about PhilRice at 29, its rice production thrust and GMO. The country’s premier government agency on research and improvement of rice varieties had its 29th year anniversary recently. The Philippine Rice Research Institute commonly known as PhilRice for short is an attached agency of the agriculture department.
Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr, PhilRice executive director, claim that the Institute`s advances in research and development show the rice workers’ efforts in helping provide enough rice and foster progress in rural areas.
In 2013, PhilRice released 10 new early-maturing varieties for saline, irrigated, and rainfed lowland areas. NSIC Rc3442SR, an aromatic special that is moderately resistant to green leaf hopper, was also released.
The agency spurred the development of nutri-rice milk, Metarhizium anisopliae in powder form, and hydrous bioethanol fuel injector for spark-ignition engines.
Nutri-Rice milk is a drink made from germinated brown rice containing Gamma Amino Butyric Acid. Let’s read about that, here:
Gamma-Amino Butyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, calming nervous activity. As a supplement it is sold and promoted for these neurotransmitter effects as a natural tranquilizer. It is also touted as increasing Human Growth Hormone levels and is popular among body builders. The published research supporting any of these promotional claims is weak. Current medical opinion says that GABA taken as a supplement does not reach the brain and has no effect or benefit aside from being a benign placebo.
Many websites claim that the neurotransmitter GABA was discovered in Berlin in 1863, which is an outlandish claim. The concept of neurotransmitters had yet to be conceived of. It is more likely that GABA was isolated and identified as an amino acid in 1863. It was 87 years later, in 1950, that Eugene Roberts and J. Awapara discovered that GABA acted as an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
The Philippines is yet to catch up with other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia whose technology was learned from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Laguna.
PhilRice, it seems, is an active proponent of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops.
Meantime, down below we share a vidoe about the issue on GMO: