A variety of Oryza sativa (rice) genetically engineered using recombinant DNA technology, Golden Rice contains beta carotene, an antioxidant which the body converts into Vitamin A. This gives the rice grain the yellow-orange or gold color that inspired its name.
However, the Golden Rice project is still on its way to completion. Its path, as expected, has not entirely been bright and shiny.
The Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is working with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) towards further developing and completing the Golden Rice project in the Philippines.
The process involves different stages: research, confined field testing, field trials, safety assessments, market tests, and nutrition studies. Nevertheless, multiple rounds of trials and errors are bringing scientists closer to fully developing safe, genetically modified rice varieties with benefits that conventional varieties do not provide.
Now, the Golden Rice project is entering its fourth stage. In this phase, researchers will plant and grow Golden Rice in the same normal field environment as unmodified rice varieties. Further tests and assessments will be involved after the field test to ensure that Golden Rice is efficacious and will reach the communities that need it the most.
Once commercialized, Golden Rice is expected to become an affordable and sustainable way to combat vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines, particularly in its most remote and underdeveloped areas.
Read full, original article: Closer to harvest? The status of the Golden Rice project