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Sep 1, 2009

2011 Golden Rice Release Expected in Asia

Expectations High For Golden Rice Release in the Philippines, India, and Vietnam in 2011

There are high expectation in that golden rice will be released in several different countries in Asia in 2011 according to an article published on 1 September 2009 by Food and Beverage News (India).  The rice is gene modified to produce beta carotene (vitamin A), giving the rice an orange-yellow color that has led to its being name "Golden Rice."

White rice v. Golden Rice
Food and Beverage News, Mumbai, India
The creators of Golden Rice engineered this vitamin-enhanced variety in order to address the large segments of the human population that suffer from diseases related to vitamin A deficiency.  According to the World Health Organization, four out of 10 children aged between six months and five years, and three out of 10 school children show symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, which can include blindness. Additionally, 50% lactating and pregnant women also suffer from problems associated with vitamin A deficiency. Data from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines shows that eating 3 cups of Golden Rice daily will meet the daily vitamin A requirements.

Golden Rice was engineered by Dr Ingo Potrykus and Dr Peter Beyer in 2000.  In 2003 and 2005, they collaborated with Syngenta, to produce Golden Rice-1 and Golden Rice-2, which each have greater levels of beta carotene. Syngenta's contributions were donated through the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board.  This board oversees the intellectual property right to the Golden Rice technology and ensures that they are free and available to the public.

Under development at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is a even newer variety known as PhilRice, which is being engineered to resist pests (e.g. tundro) and bacterial blight.

Golden Rice is expected to be released in the Philippines in 2011 with release expected in India and Vietnam during the same time period.

For more see:

"Golden Rice to hit market by 2011," Food and Beverage News, Mumbai, India, 1 September 2009.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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