Crop Biotech Update

New Golden Rice Partners Join Forces Against Vitamin A Deficiency

April 15, 2011

Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A precursor beta carotene, is hoped to be released to the farmers in three to five years in the Philippines and Bangladesh, respectively. This is going to be made possible by collaboration of three rice research institutes (International Rice Research Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute and Bangladesh Rice Research Institute) and the Hellen Keller International. The Golden Rice is being bred into local high yielding and popular varieties at the research institutes.

Hellen Keller International (HKI) is a leading global health organization that conducts studies related to reduction of blindness and prevention of malnutrition worldwide, and has been designing, implementing, and testing vitamin A delivery programs for more than 20 years.

"The most vulnerable children and women in hard-to-reach areas are often missed by existing interventions that can improve vitamin A status, including vitamin A supplementation, food fortification, dietary diversification, and promotion of optimal breast-feeding," said Ms. Nancy Haselow, HKI vice president and regional director for Asia-Pacific. "We welcome the opportunity to see if Golden Rice is efficacious and can fill the gap in access to adequate vitamin A for all vulnerable groups in a sustainable way," she added.

For the complete news release, see http://irri.org/news-events/media-releases/New-Golden-Rice-partners-join-vitamin-A-deficiency-fight.