Early efforts to produce Golden Rice began in 1992, with a grant for two Ph.D. students from the Rockefeller Foundation to university scientists Ingo Potrykus at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Peter Beyer at the University of Freiburg.
The first successful field trial harvest took place in Louisiana, in 2004. Final field trials expected to lead to public release are underway in the Philippines.
One of the major obstacles to the release of Golden Rice to breeders and farmers around the world has been unjustified regulation over alleged safety concerns. These have been driven largely by professional campaign groups opposed to the use of the most modern, precise, predictable and safe techniques for plant breeding. Greenpeace International has been at the forefront of these campaigns, spreading false information and fomenting unfounded fears that have led to individual and organizational behavior that have resulted in excessive regulatory burdens and delays.