The Collective's investigation uncovers the Union government's rush to supply fortified rice to 80 crore Indians, ignoring failed pilot projects and warnings from the finance ministry and the head of premier medical research body. NITI Aayog confidentially reported the that government bungled pilot projects meant to gather scientific evidence on fortified rice. The investigation further revealed that international organisations linked to a Dutch fortified rice premix producer influenced government policy, provided evidence, and influenced standards.
Union government ignored pilot projects’ failure and internal warnings that it is 'premature' to universalise fortified rice without first studying its health impact, particularly on children.
Government’s top think tank reviewed the pilot studies in seven districts across India only after the government had ordered 80 crore Indians to be fed fortified rice. It found that all of them were fundamentally flawed and had failed. The report was never made public.
A bevy of international organisations were part of a government resource centre that chalked up policy on rice fortification. All of them have links to Dutch multinational, Royal DSM, which benefits from the assured market created by the government's decision
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