Golden Rice misinformation: FDA debunks Michael Pollan, Independent Science News

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Image: REUTERS/Erik De Castro

On May 24, 2018 the FDA approved Golden Rice for consumption in the USA, a curious move, because we will never consume it.  Folks here get plenty of vitamin A.

However, when providing a product to the Developing World, many people are rightfully suspicious, and the endorsement of safety from the US-FDA is a good thing. It is symbolic. Period.

However, however, the FDA also stated that the levels of beta-carotene were not high enough to make a health claim.

Based on that last determination, a website called Independent Science News and others reported that the high beta-carotene rice has “no nutritional benefits”. 

Even influential food writer Michael Pollan cites the ISN misinterpretation without critical evaluation.

Related article:  Golden Rice is coming. Finally! Will it be the game-changer hinted at for almost 20 years?

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After activists and their mouthpieces willfully misinterpret the report, the FDA responded. Marriana Naum wrote the following statement. (bold is mine)

It is unfortunate that the statement you reference in our letter responding to BNF 158 has been misconstrued to suggest that there would be no value of the pro-vitamin A in golden rice for its use in the countries where it is intended for distribution.

Consuming rice containing the levels of pro-vitamin A in GR2E rice as a staple of the diet could have a significant public health impact in populations that suffer from vitamin A deficiency.

Read full, original article: Golden Rice, Misplaced Activism, and Who Do You Trust?

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