Golden Rice, Good or Bad?

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Axel Selin

Golden Rice, Good or Bad?

The world population is growing and so is the demand for vitamin rich food. Golden rice is genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A. By adding vitamin A to the rice the plan was to decrease the number of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is a malnutrition that can cause stunting, blindness and even death.

Golden rice is made two daffodil genes, and one gene from a bacterium called Erwinia. These genes together are inserted into the rice genome. Together these three genes produce proteins to make vitamin A. So the rice is “golden” from the start. Also they have inserted a gene that makes rice grow up to three times faster than normal rice. Scientists have also inserted a toxin gene into the rice, making it disease/pest resistant.

The problem with Golden rice is that when it is exposed to oxygen the vitamin fades away. This makes storing golden rice near to impossible; the rice itself is easy to store but it loses its vitamin over time. For the farmers that have to grow the rice, harvest it, store it and get it out to the market and then the customer has to buy the rice and cook it and when this has all happened nearly all of the vitamin has gone away. Also, the problem with golden rice is that the farmers can’t replant the rice seeds. This way the farmers always have to buy new seeds every year. And these seeds are very expensive for the farmers. Golden rice also contains disease/pest resistance which makes bugs eating it die. But insects might develop a resistance to this. This has happened before to other GMO foods and it might as likely happen to this one to.

The good things with golden rice however is that whatever is left of the vitamin when you eat it, still you get some of the vitamin. It is also good because some countries lack the daily intake for fruits and vitamins. Also, because the scientists have put in a gene which makes the golden rice grows up three times faster, this will help the world because the world population is increasing and so does the demand for food. Golden rice also contains a disease/pest resistance which enables more rice coming out to the market than before.

So in conclusion, golden rice has a very big economical factor. If two farmers have a farms nearby and one farmer is growing GMO foods and the other farmer is growing natural foods. Then the seeds or grains from the GMO farm might fly over to the natural farm. And then the seeds will start growing there. This was the GMO famer can accuse the natural farmer for “stealing” and then most likely the natural farmer will get sued.

Golden Rice grain compared to white rice grain GN7_0452-1 by IRRI Photos

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  1. "Golden Rice: What It Is, What It Does, And how good It is At doing it." Golden Rice: What It Is, What It Does and How Good It Is at Doing It. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. .

  2. "What Is Golden Rice." Transgenic Crops. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. .

  3. ""Golden Rice" Not so Golden." GMWATCH., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. .

  4. "Grain." Combined. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. .

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