Many proponents of the GM Golden Rice are saying that the longer that its acceptance for wide propagation is delayed, the more children may be suffering from vitamin A deficiency. GM Golden Rice was developed to serve as the answer to vitamin A deficiency that is considered a problem among children in developing countries. This variety was genetically engineered in order to produce beta-carotene, a compound that can be converted into vitamin A. But while there seems to be a move to expedite the regulatory approval for cultivating GM Golden Rice, those against it have a rebuttal to what has been said lately. They say that the insinuations are unfounded.
Those who believe in GM Golden Rice have been saying that pressure from environmentalists and the international community have delayed its use to help address the vitamin A deficiency problem in many countries. The hype even indicates that it may be causing death to many children all over the world due to the said deficiency. On the other hand, those against GM Golden Rice say that this argument is baseless. The reason for the delay is not because of international pressure. It is more of GM Golden Rice not ready for propagation yet. Current studies indicate that GM Golden Rice show lower yields as compared to non-GM rice varieties.
According to an updated status report coming from the International Rice Research Institute or IRRI in the Philippines, the most advanced versions of Golden Rice provided lower yields as compared to local varieties already preferred for cultivation by farmers. While the target beta-carotene production was attained, the lower yield may discourage local farmers from planting it. The researchers say that further testing and development may be needed in order to increase yields. This may cause a delay in the development timeline as adjustments may be needed on the research process.