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Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • rice
GE trait
  • quality
  • Germany


  • positive effect
Safety for consumption
  • positive effect

Potential health benefits of Golden Rice: a Philippine case study

Zimmermann, R; Qaim, M
Food Policy. 2004 April. 29(2):147–168

Link to full text (journal may charge for access)

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2004.03.001


Golden Rice has been genetically modified to produce beta-carotene in the endosperm of grain. It could improve the vitamin A status of deficient food consumers, especially women and children in developing countries. This paper analyses potential impacts in a Philippine context. Since the technology is still at the stage of R&D, benefits are simulated with a scenario approach. Health effects are quantified using the methodology of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Golden Rice will not completely eliminate the problems of vitamin A deficiency, such as blindness or increased mortality. Therefore, it should be seen as a complement rather than a substitute for alternative micronutrient interventions. Yet the technology could bring about significant benefits. Depending on the underlying assumptions, annual health improvements are worth between US$ 16 and 88 million, and rates of return on R&D investments range between 66% and 133%. Due to the uncertainty related to key parameters, these results should be treated as preliminary.


Biotechnology; Vitamin A; Micronutrient malnutrition; Health impacts; DALYs; golden rice


Funding source
  • Eiselen Foundation
  • German Agency for Technical Cooperation
Funding country
  • Germany
Funding type
  • government
  • NGO: independent

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Cite this study


Zimmermann, R, M Qaim. "Potential health benefits of Golden Rice: a Philippine case study." Food Policy 29.2 (2004): 147–168. Web. 22 Jun. 2024.


Zimmermann, R., & Qaim, M. (2004). Potential health benefits of Golden Rice: a Philippine case study. Food Policy, 29(2), 147–168. doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2004.03.001

Please verify citations before use, citations are automatically generated based on information stored within the GENERA database and therefore may or may not be correct.