Selasa, 11 November 2008

Whatever Happened to Golden Rice?

Golden rice was once heralded as a cure for vitamin A deficiency, which kills or blinds children in poorer countries worldwide. But twelve years after its development golden rice is still not being produced and distributed. The primary reason is categorical opposition to all genetically engineered (GE) foods by organizations such as Greenpeace. Greenpeace argues that although golden rice might indeed benefit vitamin-deficient children, acceptance of golden rice would open the door to other GE crops that Greenpeace vehemently opposes.

In the face of intense, well-organized opposition, government regulatory agencies have been reluctant to approve GE crops, including golden rice. The company holding the patent on golden rice eventually gave up, saying there was no money in it. It's still being studied in a few labs by humanitarian organizations such as World Food Day, but don’t expect to see it on grocery shelves any time soon. That's too bad, for golden rice really is a product that could help people in need, as opposed to just helping food producers and manufacturers.

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