Golden Rice opposition cost $2b and 1.4m ‘life years’ over 10 years in India alone

Golden Rice, genetically engineered to include Vitamin A, has been available since 2000, but has yet to be introduced to any country. The rice, which researchers hope will provide much-needed nutrients to poorer populations, is controversial among those concerned about the long-term impacts of GMOs. As debate over Golden Rice ensues, countries like India suffer, according to a new study from the journal Environment and Development Economics.

To study the economic and social impacts the authors developed “a real option model including irreversibility and uncertainty about perceived costs and arrival of new information to explain a delay in approval. The model has been applied to the case of India. Results show the annual perceived costs have to be at least US$199 million per year approximately for the last decade to explain the delay in approval of the technology. This is an indicator of the economic power of the opposition towards Golden Rice resulting in about 1.4 million life years lost over the past decade in India.”

Read the full study here.

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