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Philippines Approves GM Golden Rice

07/27/2021

The Government of the Philippines has approved commercial production and distribution of ‘Golden Rice’ genetically modified to contain high levels of vitamin A.  It is estimated by the World Health Organization that vitamin A deficiency is the cause of up to 500,000 cases of childhood blindness worldwide.  Almost 20 percent of children under the age of five in the Philippines are deficient in vitamin A according to the International Rice Research Institute that developed the GM Golden Rice cultivar.  Substitution of Golden Rice for conventional varieties in the diets of children will provide 15 percent of estimated average daily requirement for vitamin A provided in the form of beta-carotene.

 

Golden Rice was available for a number of years after independent development in the EU and has been approved by international organizations and safety regulators in Australia, U.S. and Canada.  Opposition to GM technology has deprived needy children of vitamin A for over a decade due the intransigence of regulatory officials in nations such as India and Indonesia.