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July 10th, 2019

Professor Johnathan Napier, who pioneered the development of plants that produce heart healthy omega-3 fish oils, says that misinformation and over-regulation is stopping or slowing several GM foods with the potential to save lives from making it to consumers.

He points to the example of Golden Rice, which has been genetically modified to provide more Vitamin A than other rice varieties and was first created by scientists nearly 20 years ago, with the initial concept developed at least 10 years before that. 

Professor Napier said: “Vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem in the developing world, killing or blinding over a million children a year and effecting hundreds of millions of people in total. Yet, as of last year, no golden rice has ever been grown for human consumption.

“The technology is proven, the rigorous safety studies have been done, the nutritional research shows Golden Rice is an excellent source of vitamin A – but still it is not being produced, despite having been formally approved for feed or food use in USA, Canada and New Zealand and Australia. 

“It’s been stuck in development limbo for far too long now, and not available to the people who would benefit from it. If there was a pharmaceutical that could achieve a similar public health benefit but wasn’t being made available, there would be a public outcry over it. And unlike many drugs, Golden Rice has been made not-for-profit by its creators.” Read more …