Rice is a staple food for millions of people, predominantly in Asia, but lacks essential nutritional components such as Vitamin A. This is very important for over 180 million children and women of child bearing age who suffer from Vitamin A deficiency in Asia alone. For this reason, an improvement was made under an effort led by Profs. Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer by inserting several genes into rice to produce an improved product called GoldenRice. Because GoldenRice has the potential to be easily integrated into the farming systems of the world's poorer regions, the advent of GoldenRice promises to go a long way towards solving Asia's Vitamin A deficiency problem in an effective, inexpensive, and sustainable way.

As a result of the increasing complexity of the intellectual property (IP) framework under which the international agricultural development community operates, the Rockefeller Foundation funded an ISAAA project to conduct a selective Freedom-To-Operate (FTO) analysis of GoldenRice with the objectives of reviewing the IP and Technical Property (TP; or tangible property) components associated with GoldenRice; providing institutions interested in distributing GoldenRice with the information needed to develop strategic options for handling the proprietary science embedded in the product; and developing possible alternative strategies on how the IP/TP constraints could be managed effectively. Any FTO opinion is a risk management opinion and its results vary on a country-by-country basis. It is a dynamic opinion; never a definitive answer. Hence the present document serves as an analytical framework that can serve as the basis of a legal FTO review.

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Copyright 2000 International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

Additional Information

This report is available online at https://perma.cc/K3K9-4QQE. It has also been made available at Paper 8 in the Pierce Law Faculty Scholarship Series by NELLCO (nellco.org).

Stanley Kowalski received his J.D. from the Franklin Pierce Law Center in 2005, and joined the Pierce Law Faculty in 2008.