Re: "Open-Source Initiative Circumvents Biotech Patents,"1 while it is true that a number of patents are involved in the technology necessary for the creation of Golden Rice, there is a general public perception that intellectual property (IP) issues have been a main reason for the delay in the introduction of Golden Rice to countries that badly need this technology. That impression was strengthened some years ago by a publication by Kryder et al.2 on the IP components of Golden Rice technology.

The truth is that IP issues were resolved within a few months of the breakthrough in the Golden Rice project, reported in Science in 2000.3 This public-private partnership established for humanitarian purposes has been an example of how patents and licenses can be applied to establish clear game rules.

The culprit of the delay and its terrible consequences to millions of people is to be found...

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