The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) says that ‘Golden Rice will not be available for planting by farmers in the Philippines or any other country in the next few months, or even this year.’
IRRI then answers questions that are in my mind: do we actually know that Golden Rice eases Vitamin A deficiency? Therefore, do we know that Golden Rice prevents blindness? No, we don’t know. We think that it *might* do those things for people who eat it.
IRRI says, ‘It’s true that human nutrition research indicates that the beta carotene in Golden Rice is readily converted to vitamin A in the body, providing encouraging evidence that eating Golden Rice could help reduce vitamin A deficiency.
‘However, it has not yet been determined whether daily consumption of Golden Rice does improve the vitamin A status of people who are vitamin A deficient and could therefore reduce related conditions such as night blindness. If Golden Rice is approved by national regulators, Helen Keller International and university partners will conduct a controlled community study to ascertain if eating Golden Rice every day improves vitamin A status.’
In other words, let’s not get carried away. The science is happening but it’s not all done yet. Farmers won’t start growing Golden Rice yet.