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Bangladesh could approve GMO Golden Rice in November 2019—after 10-year delay caused by regulation, activism

| | November 12, 2019
golden rice
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

By [November 15], Bangladesh’s agriculture minister is expected to announce the approval of “golden rice” for sale and use, making the country the world’s first to embrace a food that could save hundreds of thousands of children in developing nations from blindness and death.

For more than two decades, researchers have worked to develop a rice that contained higher levels of beta carotene, which the human body converts into vitamin A …. According to the World Health Organization, “An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year ….

Ingo Potrykus, the co-inventor of golden rice, with Peter Beyer, has estimated that adherence to government regulations on GMOs resulting from the Cartagena Protocol and the precautionary principle caused a delay of up to 10 years in the development of the final product. During that decade, countless children in developing countries continued to go blind and die, and the health of pregnant women was also harmed.

Related article:  GMO Bt corn has 'no impact' on health of soil animals, two-year study finds

If Bangladesh does indeed approve golden rice for release, and if the rice is consumed by vitamin A-deficient children and ends up saving their sight and lives, then many regulatory authorities — and GMO critics — will have a lot of explaining to do.

Read full, original article: Golden rice, long an anti-GMO target, may finally get a chance to help children

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