Wed, 28 Jul 2021 Today's Paper

Rice fortification: Do not sow the wind - EDITORIAL

17 April 2016 11:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

 

n the afterglow of the National New Year celebrations where Kiribath and   rice-based sweet meats were delicious short-eats, we need to sound an alarm   bell regarding any hidden, deep -rooted agenda in a so-called rice-fortification programme being planned here by the United Nations’ World Food   Programme (WFP). 
In   a media announcement, the WFP office here said a pilot study on rice   fortification to increase the daily intake of vitamins among the people was   being undertaken by it. It said that the typical Sri Lankan diet comprises  rice as a staple food. Therefore increasing the micro-nutrient density of   rice through fortification had great potential to increase the daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals for the people, and thereby address the   widespread micro-nutrient deficiencies. The WFP office said the Ministry of  Health was interested in exploring the potential for adopting rice-fortification as one of the key strategies to prevent micro- nutrient deficiencies, and noted that to better understand this a pilot study was   required. The WFP said that as part of the nutritional interventions in the country, the UN agency supported the Health Ministry to address the   substantial challenges in combating and controlling micro-nutrient   deficiencies, particularly iron deficiency, anaemia. Impressive words, but   people-friendly nutritionists are raising serious questions as to what will   happen to our plate of rice or ‘bath patha’ and whether it may lead to   mysterious ailments that often cannot be diagnosed. 

 


For   thousands of years, agriculture and particularly rice, has been a vital part of Sri Lanka’s culture and civilization. So what really is the need for this fortification especially at a time when the national government has launched  a major programme to reduce and gradually stop the use of imported   agro-chemicals and switch to organic farming to make Sri Lanka a ‘Vasa visa   nethi’ country. 
Sri   Lankan Human Nutrition Specialist Dr. Damayanthi Perera, who has specialized in   under-nutrition for her doctoral studies, has highlighted the futility of the   proposed programme. More importantly, she has pro-actively warned the policy   makers of the potential dangers of food fortification. In an evidence-based   article titled ‘Traditional Sri Lankan Diet, Ancient Marvels &   Globalization’ she notes that synthetic vitamins and minerals are toxic in   the short and the long run. She also explains the vested interests behind   this project and says there is a well-planned global move to capture the   global rice and other staple cereal market, under the   guise of eliminating vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Therefore we urge the government   to consult local and regional opinion to prevent any harm that may be caused   to innocent consumers. 

 


Indian   scholar, physicist and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, in an article   titled ‘Seeds of Truth’ has referred to grave fallacies that affect people’s   lives and have become fodder for the social media supporting the trans-national biotech industry. She says subtle attempts are being made to   encourage the biotechnology industry’s push to ‘engage consumers’. Dr. Shiva,   widely respected as an agriculture prophetess, says strong resistance to   genetically-modified organisms is based on science. She says the biotech   industry would like to identify the millions of people opposing genetically- modified organisms as unscientific and romantic outliers. She says her   mission is to evolve an ecological paradigm of science and she has   consciously made a commitment to dedicate her life to protect the Earth, its  ecosystems and communities. She adds that every intellectual breakthrough she   has made over the past 40 years has been to move from a mechanistic paradigm   to an ecological one. 

 


Dr. Shiva points out that in the United States, six-week human trials of   bio-fortified bananas are being conducted. What are these bananas? They are bananas   into which they have put a gene found in another variety of banana that has   elevated levels of Beta-Carotene. They could have just used the banana with   higher Beta-Carotene if the intent was to alleviate Vitamin A Deficiency, but   there’s no money in that. 

 


“The   spirit of service inspired by truth, conscience and compassion cannot be   stopped. For me, science has always been about service, not servitude. My   life of science is about creativity and seeing connections, not about   mechanistic thought and manipulated facts,” Dr.Vandana Shiva says in outlining   her selfless philosophy which we hope will inspire our government leaders and   agriculture experts.

 

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 1

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  • Sanath Jayatilaka Thursday, 21 April 2016 02:47 PM

    Just he excuse for the Yahapalanaya Govt to import this rice variety and tie us down to the USA.


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment


“Medamulana Dynasty”: Four Sons and Three Grandsons of Don Alvin Rajapaksa

Basil Rohana Rajapaksa was sworn in as Finance minister in the Government of

Site survey near Akasa Chaitya: Is it the end of Yala?

The Yala National Park has been at the receiving end of human disturbances fr

Basil Rajapaksa’s catch 22 situation

Sri Lankan politics has been a good deal of family business. It was not even

“This govt. printed Rs. 880 billions”

This is the roadmap of Zimbabwe



See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.