The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Golden Rice, marking the third positive international assessment for the genetically engineered biofortified crop.
In an official letter to the developers of Golden Rice, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the FDA concurred that the new rice was safe for consumers.
[Editor’s note: Read the GLP’s fact sheet on Golden Rice]
“Based on the information IRRI has presented to FDA, we have no further questions concerning human or animal food derived from GR2E rice at this time,” the FDA’s letter to IRRI concludes.
The FDA’s assessment concerns Golden Rice event GR2E, which contains genes encoding phytoene synthase and carotene desaturase, components of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway.
These genes allow Golden Rice to produce the Vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, giving it a rich yellow colour.
The rice is intended to address Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), a serious disease which is estimated to affect 250 million preschool-age children around the world. VAD can cause blindness and early death in young children who are affected.
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