International rice body to seek approval for Golden Rice use in India

A deficiency among the Indian population, particularly in small children, lactating mothers and vulnerable groups, said RM Sundaram, director of the Indian Rice Research Institute.

Published: 20th December 2022 05:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2022 05:38 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: It won’t be long before Golden Rice is available for commercial use in India, according to experts. The body behind the development, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is hoping to send proposals for approval by Indian authorities once the large-scale feeding trials data is available from the Philippines. With the idea to combat rising Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), scientists developed Golden Rice in the late 80s and early 90s. It has since been approved for use in the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Though the issue of public availability and commercialisation of this carotene-rich transgenic crop in India is still ambiguous, it, after proper biosafety evaluation, can play a crucial role in the mitigation of Vitamin A deficiency among the Indian population, particularly in small children, lactating mothers and vulnerable groups, said RM Sundaram, director of the Indian Rice Research Institute.

A number of studies suggest that community health programmes have only been partially successful in achieving nutritional security in the Indian population, which has also been adversely affected by the pandemic.

They also show that a significant proportion of the poor-income groups in the country have high nutritional deficiencies such as micronutrient and Vitamin A deficiencies, which lead to significant child and maternal mortality in many south Asian and south-east Asian countries, including India.
In this context, the large-scale cultivation and consumption of Golden Rice will provide a safe and culturally simple solution in countries like India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, where staple foodgrains, such as rice, are the primary source of calories.



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