No Golden Rice farming now
More research needed to show extent of real-world benefits of the GM crop
Published : Sunday, 1 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 3046
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has turned down the Agriculture Ministry's move to release "Golden Rice" for plantation in Bangladesh saying it needs a "wide-ranging" detail study before release of the genetically engineered food for farming.
"Many issues are related with the approval of Golden Rice at the moment, we failed to reach any consensus, we have no idea about it characteristics and behaviour with the human body, soil, water and environment at large, however, we sent back the proposal for further research," a senior official of the Ministry of Environment told the Daily Observer on Saturday preferring anonymity.
Earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture said they are going to get the nod from the Ministry of Environment by November 15.
The Agriculture Ministry has taken up the move since November 2017, however, a biosafety approval is a prerequisite for varietal release in the country.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified organism, developed in the late 1990s but there are no plans to grow the crop in any country, although United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia approved Golden Rice for consumption.
Local environmental groups are opposing the move saying that more research will be needed to show the extent of real-world benefits from Golden Rice.
"In tests of dhan 29 Golden Rice at multiple locations, researchers at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) found no new farming challenges and no significant differences in quality-except for the presence of vitamin A, which never proved its efficiency level in the real sense at consumption level…so we were hopeful that Golden Rice might get the green signal soon, however, we will wait for the signal" a senior official of the Agriculture Ministry said.