Recent Developments in Biotechnology: Golden Rice

Volume 6, No. 1, Winter 2001

Angela M. Fraser

Golden rice, developed by a German scientist, produces beta-carotene in its genetically modified seeds. Beta-carotene, an important source of vitamin A, is crucial for vision and resistance to disease. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 124 million children do not get enough vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency causes about a half million children to go blind each year and makes them more vulnerable to diseases that cause diarrhea. Most of these children live in parts of the world where rice is the main staple. One key concern is that this rice might not be accepted in Asian countries where the whiteness of rice is valued. Golden rice is the first genetically modified crop that will directly benefit consumers rather than just farmers and agriculture. Scientists anticipate that it will be available for worldwide distribution within two to three years.

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Contributed by: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Assistant Professor/Food Safety Education Specialist, Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences, NC State University,



Cite this article:

“Recent developments.” The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues 6.1 (2001): 1 pars. February 2001.