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

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

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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  • First Officer

    Congratulations Greenpeace ! In India alone, you have helped kill more people than every man woman and child living in San Francisco and Oakland, CA combined !

  • Greenpeace is rapidly approaching the point where they’ll rival communism and fascism for total people killed. Or have they exceeded that already? Depends on how you do the tally I suppose.

  • Loren Eaton

    I read that in India 68 million children under the age of 5 were malnourished (2008 stats). Obviously, the measures that Shiva and other envirotypes are touting aren’t getting the job done. My point is that if these folks think GR will fail, why not let it happen? Unless GR is short on calories, no one will be worse off than before…..except maybe those obstructing the progress.

  • MattH

    Why does the headline say “1.4 million lives” when the study clearly says 1.4 million life years?

    • Sam Russell

      My headline says “life years,” though it may have been updated between viewings.

      • MattH

        Yeah, looks like it got edited.

  • dick_c

    Maybe Europe and the United States should set an example and switch their entire rice production over to this Golden Rice. What could it hurt?

  • Joe

    A serious question: the majority of rice grown in India are the Indica varieties, which are drylands varieties. But golden rice is a wetlands Japonica variety.

    Until golden rice indica varieties are developed, golden rice will have little effect on Vitamin A deficiency in India, so why blame GM opposition for this problem?

    Why not blame lack of conventional state nutritional awareness programs, which have been successful in other parts of the world in greatly reducing vitamin A deficiency?