Another Win For Golden Rice: Canadian Government Approves

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After consulting experts in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry and nutrition and ignoring precautionary principle claims by anti-science activists, the government of Canada has affirmed that a variety of rice called Provitamin A Biofortified Rice Event GR2E (Golden Rice), which has higher levels of provitamin A and is intended to be sold in countries where diets are typically low in vitamin A, is otherwise no different that varieties of rice that have been genetically modified for thousands of years.

They also do not pose a greater risk to human health than rice varieties currently available on the Canadian market, nor can GR2E have an impact on allergies. Except for increased levels of provitamin A, there are no differences in the nutritional value of GR2E compared to older rice varieties.

The assessment of GR2E was conducted according to the Guidelines for Safety Assessment of Novel Foods, based upon scientific principles developed through expert international consultation over the last 20 years with agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The approach taken by Canada is currently applied by regulatory agencies around the world in countries such as the European Union, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.

GR2E rice will be grown commercially in major rice-producing regions, primarily in Asia.  The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has indicated that this product is not intended to be sold in Canada at this time.