Last week, we reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval for the safety of Golden Rice, a genetically engineered biofortified crop that promises to help alleviate Vitamin A deficiency — a serious health concern in 250 million preschool-age children globally. According to an article published in Cornell University’s Alliance for Science blog last week, this marks the third positive assessment of the crop by national food standards agencies, the first two being from Australia and New Zealand.
The FDA wrote to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) that “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.” IRRI has been applying for approval internationally to ensure smooth trade in the commodity but the crop is intended for people in Asia and Africa who depend on rice as a staple food. This approval should help the beta-carotene enriched rice, which has long been held up due to the GM debate, get to populations in need.
This week, we include follow-up articles on this milestone, “Embattled Golden Rice is now allowed in US food supply” in Futurism, “GM golden rice gets approval from food regulators in the US” in New Scientist, and “FDA approves Golden Rice for consumption” from the Progressive Farmer. To read a copy of the FDA’s letter to IRRI, follow this link.
Rice also features in other headlines from around the world this week, including “Gene-edited rice plants could boost the world’s food supply” from Engadget, “India: Hybrid rice clicks better in poor than agriculturally prosperous states” in Indian Express, and “Free app to help rice farms lessen losses from weeds” in AllAfrica.
From the B4FA Fellows this week, we also hear from Lominda Afedraru, who writes about Uganda’s scientists’ use of biotechnology to solve agricultural, health and environmental challenges, and Michael Ssali, who writes “When agriculture is sick we are sick”, a report on the farm clinic organized by the Daily Monitor at the Mbarara Zonal Agricultural and Research Development Institute (MBAZARDI), an opportunity for farmers and other stakeholders to learn about new farming technologies agricultural solutions.
We welcome questions, comments and story links to [email protected]. Please also visit B4FA.org for further reading and useful resources – and follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with daily news and join the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you!
FDA approves Golden Rice for consumption
DTN: The Progressive Farmer
Uganda’s scientists strive to use biotechnology to solve agricultural, health and environmental challenges
Genetic Literacy Project, by B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru
Uganda: When agriculture is sick we are sick
Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali
Bill Gates support African countries to battle cassava disease
Kenya unveils plans to revamp ailing cotton industry
Reviving the American chestnut: Genetic modification can save the iconic tree from extinction
Genetic Literacy Project
Is agricultural diversification necessary for achieving global food security?
Malabo Montpellier Panel
What does a seed farmer do?
Climate change and threat of food insecurity
GM crops offer hope in hotter times
FAO, Rabobank renew partnership to help African farmers
Positioning Africa’s agricultural sector to feed the world
The Nigerian Voice
The question of land grabbing for commercial agriculture in Uganda
Farmers Review Africa
Land reform and hunger in South Africa: why the two go hand in hand
Ghana: Make agricultural machines women friendly
Ghana News Agency
African Development Bank to host US $3-million Rockefeller Trust Fund to spur agriculture and youth employment in Africa
African Development Bank Group
Energy and innovation
The GM debate
Why not genetically engineered organic foods?
How GMOs go mainstream: lessons from impossible foods
Stephen Lamb, Medium
The agreeable face of genome editing
Global Institute for Food Security
Organic vs conventional food fight: Focus on pesticides distracts from real environmental problems
Genetic Literacy Project
Pests and diseases
Sub-Saharan farmers are being bankrupted…by a worm
Farmers await lifting of ban on GMO cotton
The GM debate
Here’s everything wrong with the government’s confusing new GMO labeling law
The New Food Economy
Do you have an inspiring success story of agricultural innovation? Send it in for the November 2018 FAO International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers will take place at HQ. Deadline: 15 June.