Last updated May 31, 2018 at 4:28 pm
FDA declares a variety of genetically modified rice as safe to eat.
GR2E Golden Rice, developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in the Philippines, is fortified with Vitamin A, making it potentially an important resource for tackling a vitamin deficiency that currently affects an estimated 250 million pre-school children around the world.
A standard serving of the rice provides between 30 and 50% of the average Vitamin A requirement for women and children.
Further reading: Science Update – Golden Rice
“Each regulatory application that Golden Rice completes with national regulatory agencies takes us one step closer to bringing Golden Rice to the people who need it the most,” says IRRI Director General Matthew Morell.
“The rigorous safety standards observed by the US FDA and other agencies provide a model for decision-making in all countries wishing to reap the benefits of Golden Rice.”
The majority of people set to benefit from the rice variety live in developing countries, where regulatory approvals, to date, have been slow in coming.
However, research institutes in the Philippines and Bangladesh are both well advanced in developing local rice high-yield rice strains that have been engineered to contain the GR2E Golden Rice trait that produces high levels of beta-carotene. Requests for approval in both countries were lodged in 2017.
The IRRI is currently working on other genetically engineered rice varieties, geared to deliver essential iron and zinc micronutrients to communities in which existing diets fall short.