Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on an application to permit a genetically modified rice line that produces a form of provitamin A.
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the International Rice Research Institute (a non-government humanitarian organisation) applied to include the rice—sometimes referred to as Golden Rice—in the Code.
“The institute is seeking to grow the rice in developing countries to address severe vitamin A deficiency that can lead to blindness and other health issues,” Mr Booth said.
“They are applying for permission to include it in the Code to prevent any trade issues, in the event small amounts of the rice inadvertently end up in shipments of other rice imported into Australia.”
“FSANZ has conducted a thorough safety assessment, including a dietary intake assessment (DIA), and has determined there are no public health or safety concerns.
“The DIA conservatively modelled an artificial situation in which all rice eaten in Australia was Golden Rice and concluded that this may result in a 2–13% increase in estimated intakes of β-carotene—equivalent to the amount of β-carotene from approximately 1 teaspoon or less of carrot juice.”
The call for submissions closes at 6pm (Canberra time) 14 September 2017.
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