Some Government Spokespersons on “fake rice”
by Apolinario Villalobos
It is a fact that fake rice proliferates in the local market. However, it is just irritating to listen to government spokespersons talking about the “fake rice” and the “vitamin- fortified rice”. They do not even make a distinction between the fake rice and the vitamin-rice, the first of which is the iron-fortified rice. Now, there is a so-called “corn-rice”. They do not even emphasize that fortifying the rice with nutrients does not make it fake. They make a joke about the issue by saying that it is better for the poor Filipinos to eat fake rice because it is fortified with vitamins!…and that is what I mean by their irresponsibility.
A day after the issue on the fake rice exploded, a government official even assured the Filipinos that the fake rice processed with resin and plastic can only poison the body after at least a month of consumption! So, with those kind of government officials that the country has today, what do we expect?
While the people’s money is just left to be stolen by the greedy officials and lawmakers, the government failed to spend for an information drive about the different nutrient-vitamin rice that are now in the market. The rice-corn in the shelves of the supermarket is not given much attention by shoppers who may be presuming that it is another GMO. The iron-fortified rice, on the other hand that has been circulated for a long time now, failed to attract the interest of Filipinos, especially, those who need such nutrient.
Processing the clean rice for the fortification is different from that of modifying the genes of plants or animals, as part of the latter is “feeding” or injecting into the growing subject organism, the enhancing genes. Nothing about this information is being undertaken by the Bureau of Plant Industry or the Department of Health and other agencies involved in the consumption of rice and other food products.