Golden Rice gains health and safety nod from Health Canada
Health Canada has notified the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) that it has no objection to the food use of Provitamin A Biofortified Rice Event GR2E (Golden Rice), a statement showed.
In its notice of decision, Health Canada declared, as cited by IRRI, that “changes made in this rice variety did not pose a greater risk to human health than rice varieties currently available on the Canadian market”.
It also noted that “GR2E would have no impact on allergies, and that there were no differences in the nutritional value of GR2E compared to other traditional rice varieties available for consumption except for increased levels of provitamin A.”
Health Canada is of the opinion that food derived from this event is as safe and nutritious as food from current commercial rice varieties, IRRI said.
Health Canada’s decision coincides with the approval from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and is an outcome of their close cooperation on the safety assessment.
A flagship product of IRRI’s Healthier Rice program, GR2E Golden Rice is the first nutritionally enhanced GM rice to receive regulatory approval for use in food.
“Healthier rice varieties have the potential to reach many people because rice is already widely grown and eaten. IRRI is developing rice varieties that have more iron, zinc, and beta-carotene content to help people get more of these important micronutrients,” IRRI said.
“These healthier rice varieties can complement current strategies to reduce micronutrient deficiencies,” it added.