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August 5, 2000
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Royalty-free licences for 'golden rice'

The US-based agro-tech multinational, Monsanto, has announced that it would provide royalty free licences for all its genome technologies that could help further development of the vitamin rich 'golden rice', and other pro-vitamin A enhanced rice varieties.

Announcing this at a national workshop on media and gene revolution in Madras, Gerald Barry, a spokesperson of the company and co-ordinator, Rice Genome Initiatives, US, said that successful development and adoption of enhanced rice varieties like 'golden rice' could help millions of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency.

He said that the company had recently launched a new Internet Web site at which the company's genome sequence database was available to researchers around the world.

The company was ready with its draft sequence on rice genome, the first crop genome to be described in such technical detail, he said. In order to facilitate and encourage basic research to improve rice and other crops, data was being made available at no charge to registered researchers through its new Web site, he said.

Monsanto is an active partner of the rice genome sequence project initiated in 1998 by the International Research Consortium, the International Rice Genome Sequence Project, comprising ten research teams around the world.

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