What is it? Golden rice is a genetically modified type of rice that has been in development for over 20 years. It contains a large amount of the large plant pigment beta-carotene. This substance is important in the human diet as a precursor of vitamin A.
Significance- Each year there are over 2 million deaths that occur from vitamin A deficiency. It is also responsible for 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness. Those that are most effected by VAD are pregnant women and children.
19 million pregnant women
190 million children
If released to the environment, golden rice is highly likely to contaminate rice that is not genetically engineered. Organic and conventional rice farmers will lose their markets and the rural life would be negatively impacted. Rice is also an essential food supplement in many countries. If golden rice would have a negative and hazardous impact on these environments, the food security that is already installed with this grain could be permanently disturbed and people would be at risk.
Some communities where golden rice would be introduced do not believe in consuming the food because of their religious beliefs, cultural heritage and sense of identity.
Reality---- Even though many people believe that golden rice could provide a solution to the current issue of vitamin A deficiency in the world, the product can also put human health at risk, compromise the nutrition and financial security of some countries, and negatively impact the environment. Greenpeace is highly opposed to releasing genetically engineered crops into the environment because they are prone