Would Golden Rice save lives in developing countries?

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Genetically engineered Golden Rice (Credit: Jes Aznar via The New York Times)

Following the August 8 vandalism of Golden Rice field trials in the Philippines, Amy Harmon narrates the story of the food’s lifesaving characteristics, resulting from the genetic modification of increased beta carotene into rice — a common staple food in developing countries, in the New York Times.

An excerpt: 

ONE bright morning this month, 400 protesters smashed down the high fences surrounding a field in the Bicol region of the Philippines and uprooted the genetically modified rice plants growing inside.

Had the plants survived long enough to flower, they would have betrayed a distinctly yellow tint in the otherwise white part of the grain. That is because the rice is endowed with a gene from corn and another from a bacterium, making it the only variety in existence to produce beta carotene, the source of vitamin A. Its developers call it “Golden Rice.”

The concerns voiced by the participants in the Aug. 8 act of vandalism … are a familiar refrain in the long-running controversy over the merits of genetically engineered crops.

Read the full, original story here: “Golden Rice — Lifesaver?” 

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