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Abstract, Agriculture and Food Security, 2017

Golden Rice is any variety of rice which makes beta-carotene, thus giving the rice a yellow (Golden) colour. It was created as an additional intervention for vitamin A deficiency. This dietary deficiency is the most significant cause of childhood blindness, and also the biggest killer of children under 5 year’s old, globally. White rice contains no beta-carotene, and no vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is common in countries where rice is the staple diet. The Golden Rice technology, adding two genes to white rice in 2004, has been donated by its inventors for use in developing countries as an additional intervention against vitamin A deficiency. When Golden Rice is approved for use in a country, that country’s Government will have decided that it is safe for the environment to grow the crop, and safe for humans, and animals, to consume it. Regular consumption of Golden Rice by people is expected, with time, to deliver health benefits by reducing cases of partial or complete blindness, and reducing preventable deaths, especially of young children and mothers. Any amount of daily white rice consumption can be replaced by Golden Rice consumption without ill effect. This document suggests how people can organise themselves to contribute to Golden Rice’s adoption for growth and consumption by populations in their own country. Without adoption, Golden Rice cannot be an intervention for vitamin A deficiency, which is a major public health problem.