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Initial peer-reviewed publications of Golden Rice biosafety data completed

The first series of peer-reviewed publications on the GR2E Golden Rice field trial data are now available in Nature Scientific Reports and Frontiers in Plant Science journals. These articles focus on the agronomic performance of Golden Rice varieties developed in the Philippines and Bangladesh.

These publications were authored by scientists and researchers of the Healthier Rice Program at IRRI, in collaboration with colleagues at the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-Philrice) and Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI).

Key findings indicate that agronomy, yield, and grain qualities are comparable to the conventional  inbred rice counterparts: IR64, PSBRc82, and BRRI dhan 29. Data shows that the Golden Rice breeding lines developed in the genetic backgrounds of different local varieties contain enough beta-carotene to provide more than  30% estimated average requirement (EAR) for vitamin A of young children. Time of planting was also observed to have some effect on beta-carotene content--with wet season harvests registering higher beta-carotene amounts than dry season harvests--while continuing to meet the target levels set by the Healthier Rice team.

Previously published studies on the compositional analysis and molecular characterization and safety assessment demonstrated that Golden Rice is as safe as ordinary rice, with the added benefit of beta-carotene in the grain.

Data evaluated in these publications were submitted as part of the regulatory dossier for GR2E Golden Rice, and aided in the prior food safety approvals gained in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America, and the Philippines. The complete dossier is publicly available on the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) biotechnology secretariat website. Downloadable summary infographics are also included in the Golden Rice Communication Toolkit.

“Transparency is one of the guiding principles of Golden Rice development,” notes Russell Reinke, Healthier Rice Program lead. “We believe that making our research findings open-access and available in various formats will enable meaningful public conversations on the safety and potential nutritional benefit of Golden Rice.” Further publications are currently in development.

Public comment for the commercial propagation of GR2E Golden Rice in the Philippines was completed in January 2021.