Golden Rice could help relieve vitamin A deficiency if countries ditch ‘misguided regulations’

goldricecompare wide ab bab a c f c be b c
Genetically modified to be enriched with beta-carotene, golden rice grains (left) are a deep yellow. At right, white rice grains.

[Editor’s note: Justus Wesseler is a professor in the Social Science Department at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. David Zilberman is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California.]

In the December 2014 issue of Environment and Development Economics, we published the article, ‘The economic power of the Golden Rice opposition’ …. The paper generated substantial interest, not only in academia but also among civil society groups. In this note, we address some of the concerns that have been raised about our results.

[E]ven if Vitamin A deficiency can be reduced using alternative means, the alternatives can be expected to be expensive, and Golden Rice can be an important cost-effective part of the solution.

There is clear evidence that the introduction of Golden Rice is delayed by regulation, and in India this is mainly induced by opposition to the technology. … Our main conclusion remains that misguided regulations in the case of Golden Rice have cost millions of healthy life-years and billions of dollars, a claim that has recently been supported by more than 100 Nobel Prize Laureates.

[Read the full paper here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Golden Rice: no progress to be seen. Do we still need it? (behind paywall)

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