The Nobel Laureates argue that the reason this innovation has not started saving lives yet is Greenpeace’s criminal opposition. This narrative of conspiracy glosses over the rather more straightforward explanation: As IRRI itself admits on its website, Golden Rice is not ready for farmers, yet. There are above-board reasons for this which have little to do with anti-GM activists.
The question of bioavailability is even more vexed. The body does not necessarily absorb beta-carotene because one eats Golden Rice. The Golden Rice Humanitarian Board’s website quotes a study published in 2012 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition for establishing the effectiveness of Golden Rice. …
The study saw middle-income, healthy Chinese children consuming a total of 210 grams of pork and other foods over breakfast and lunch daily, with 40 per cent of their total calorie intake coming from fat. Fats help the body absorb beta-carotene, since the latter dissolves easily in fats. Unlike customary practice, the Golden Rice fed to the children had been stored at minus 70C after drying for three days, to avoid any decline in beta-carotene levels with time. Thus, the study design favoured Golden Rice, rather than reflecting the actual lives and habits of poor Asians and Africans, who generally cannot afford fat-rich meals every day. So far, there is no answer to the real question: How will Golden Rice perform as part of meals that poor people, typically malnourished, actually eat?
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this video to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Watch the original video on YouTube: Golden rice isn’t ready yet