This new golden rice could be one of the best types of rice ever — and no, there isn’t a hint of saffron in it.
A new genetically-modified rice crop has been tinkered with to container beta carotene, a source of vitamin A. The beta carotene gives the grains the tell-tale jaundiced hue. Developed, in part, by the Rockefeller Institute as an answer to much of the developing world’s need for vitamin A, this rice could be a veritable panacea. Just one bowl of the stuff provides a child with 60% of his or her recommended daily vitamin A – and that’s a big deal, because a child lacking the nutrient can feel the detrimental effect for the rest of his or her life.
There is, however, another side to the story. Time and time again, GMOs and their patent holders sully the seemingly-perfect picture. One major concern is that this product is focused on making money, not feeding the hungry, or that it will gild the GMO image for good.
NPR, of course, did a better job reporting this than I can even begin to. Listen to the story here, and tell us what you think about golden rice.