THE GOLDEN RICE

By: - Ambesh Srivastava Guided By: - Dr. Somashekhar

Topics Of Discussion
• • • • • • • Introduction Creation of Golden Rice Subsequent Development Golden Rice & Vitamin-A deficiency Golden Rice & IPRs Opposition Bibliography

Introduction
• • • • • • Variety of Oryza sativa Biosynthesizes β-Carotene First published in the Science, 2000 To alleviate Vitamin-A deficiency In 2005, Golden Rice 2 was announced Neither variety is currently available for consumption.

Creation Of Golden Rice
•Created by Ingo Potrykus, Institute Of Plant Sciences & Peter Beyer, University Of Freiburg. •Started in 1992 and at the time of publication in 2000 •Was designed to produce β-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, in the part of rice that people eat, the endosperm. •Original Golden rice was called SGR1

•Created by transforming rice with two betacarotene biosynthesis genes: •psy (phytoene synthase) from daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) •crt1 from the soil bacterium Erwinia uredovora

Subsequent Development
• Has been bred with local rice cultivars in the Philippines, Taiwan and with the American rice cultivar 'Cocodrie'. • First field trials of cultivars were conducted by Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in 2004. • Produces 4 to 5 times more β-carotene than Golden rice grown under greenhouse conditions

• In 2005, a team of researchers at biotechnology company Syngenta produced a variety of golden rice called "Golden Rice 2“. • Golden rice 2 produces 23 times more carotenoids than golden rice (up to 37 µg/g). • Bioavailability of the carotene from either variety has not been tested in any model. • In June 2005, researcher Peter Beyer received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further improve Golden rice.

• To help children who suffer from Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD). • VAD is responsible for 1–2 million deaths, 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness and millions of cases of xerophthalmia annually. • Keratomalacia also causes blindness. • Children and pregnant women are at highest risk. • Because many countries have rice as a staple component of their diet.

Golden Rice and Vitamin A Deficiency

• So Golden Rice is a less expensive & good supplement & alternative of vitamin-A deficiency. • Equivalent to the genetically engineered fluoridated water or iodized salt. • Since carotenes are hydrophobic, there need a great amount of fat to consume vitamin-A rich rice. • Greenpeace estimated that – adult humans would need to eat about 9 kilograms of cooked Golden Rice – while a breast-feeding woman would need twice the amount

Golden rice and intellectual property issues
• Potrykus has spearheaded an effort to have golden rice distributed for free to subsistence farmers. • So this requires several companies which had intellectual property rights to the results of Beyer's research to license it for free. • Beyer and Potrykus made use of 70 Intellectual Property rights belonging to 32 different companies and universities in the making of golden rice.

• In this Zeneca (now called Syngenta) and humanitarian partners in the project could use golden rice in breeding programs and to develop new crops. • Monsanto was one of the first companies to grant the group free licences. • Group also had to define the cutoff between humanitarian and commercial use. – This figure was set at $10 000. – As long as a farmer or subsequent user of golden rice genetics does not make > $10000/yr, they need not pay any royalties to Syngenta.

Opposition
• Critics of genetically engineered crops have raised various concerns – Golden rice originally did not have sufficient vitamin A. • But new strains were developed that solve this problem. • There are still doubts about the speed at which Vitamin A degrades once the plant is harvested, and how much would remain after cooking.

• Greenpeace opposes all GMOs, and is concerned that golden rice is a Trojan horse that will open the door to more widespread use of GMOs. • Vandana Shiva, an Indian anti-GMO activist, argued that the problem was not particular deficiencies in the crops themselves, but problems with poverty and loss of biodiversity in food crops. • These problems are aggravated by the corporate control of agriculture based on genetically modified foods.

• Some groups have argued that a varied diet containing vitamin A rich foods like sweet potato, leafy green vegetables and fruit would provide children with sufficient vitamin A. • Rice with the aleurone intact contains more B vitamins, iron, manganese, selenium, zinc and phosphorus than milled rice. • The Institute of Science in Society claims that if rice was not milled that supplementation would not be necessary.

Bibliography
• Slater Adrian, Plant Biotechnology-The Genetic Manipulation of Plants, Reprinted 2006, Oxford University Press, Pg. 247-249. • Urls: – www.wikipedia.com – www.biotech-info.net – www.sirc.org – www.goldenrice.org – www.reason.com – www.loe.org – www.sfsu.edu

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