Crop Biotech Update

Experts: Allow Golden Rice to Save Lives

January 5, 2022

International experts expressed their support for vitamin-A enriched rice known as Golden Rice, which can prevent vitamin A deficiency (VAD) that kills millions of children in less-developed countries. Their opinion article is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Golden Rice offers a potent and cost-effective solution to VAD. To date, only the Philippines has approved the cultivation of Golden Rice. Studies have shown that Golden Rice consumption could provide 89%-113% and 57%- 99% of the recommended vitamin A requirement for preschool children in Bangladesh and the Philippines, respectively. Furthermore, Golden Rice has been projected to be financially viable and requires no extra cost to governments, growers, or consumers compared to white rice.

The experts said that delaying the uptake of GM products with health benefits has and will cost numerous lives, usually the most vulnerable populations. Thus, policymakers must find solutions to Golden Rice resistance and speed up its adoption and use.

Read the open-access article in PNAS.

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