Golden rice has been a topic of controversy among very many people in society. Some individuals support the rice while others oppose it. Golden rice is a genetically modified type of rice which was introduced in the late 20th Century to include some elements of Vitamin A in it. The strategy was reached after it was discovered that a lot of people especially the children had diseases due to the lack of Vitamin A in the foods that they were consuming. The supporters argued that the normal rice only gave energy and had little nutrients. The rice that was modified changed the color to yellow and hence was give the word golden rice. The developers of the ideas have argued that it is a good way to ensure that individuals consumed vitamin A in a commodity that they severally take compared another type of food need to be eaten for the vitamin to be obtained. However, the golden rice has faced a lot of opposition from some groups of people who have argued that it is unnecessary and insists on sticking on the natural rice.
Friends of the Earth is a group that has showed great opposition to the introduction of the Golden Rice. The organization argues that the rice would not solve the Vitamin A deficiency which affects the members of the public. Friends of Earth also stated that there are other reliable sources of vitamin A without the introduction of GMOs. Also, they argued that those sources are cheaper compared to the cost of modifying the normal rice. For example, UNICEF provides vitamin A supplements to the children and this cost them very little money ("Genetically Modified Organisms: The "Golden Rice" Debate | High School Bioethics", 2018). Furthermore, Singh in the book Biofortification of Food Crops argued that the added vitamin A in the rice is only 1.6mg per one gram of rice would not reach the 300g that are needed for a human body (Singh, 2016).
According to Buu in the article Golden Rice: Genetically Modified to Reduce Vitamin A Deficiency, Benefit or Hazard, various hazardous effects may be connected to Golden Rice. Firstly, he argued that the genes inserted may lead to higher toxic levels of the plants. Also, he presented the argument that the rice may reach to a point where it may cause allergy among the consumers since it is hard to test most of the allergens at the plant level (Buu, 2003). Miller and Spoolman in the book Environmental Science: Problems, Connections, and solutions argued that the members argued that the genetically modified foods such as the Golden Rice are beneficial in solving the existing problems but the long-term effects are not known (Miller & Spoolman, 2007). Additionally, they argued that the process of the genetically modified foods cannot be recalled since it causes changes even in areas where it was not intended to do so. For example, the Golden Rice will also affect the natural rice through cross-pollination. Therefore, at any time when the side effects of the rice will be noticed, the situation will be out of control.
Wayne in the article Looking beyond the golden glow gave various reasons why Golden Rice was not a good solution to the lack of the Vitamin A among the children. He argued that the cause of limited Vitamin A in the body of the individual should first be established so that the best strategies to be laid for solving the problem (Crawford, 2001). Additionally, he stated that the main cause of the deficiency was poverty and hence it needed to be addressed. The individuals need to be empowered so that they can have a small farm with the vegetables rich in vitamin A since the negative consequences of the GMOs may be realized when it has already made irreversible problems. Finally, Horstman, Penders, and Dow described that Golden Rice only focused on a single nutrient and a monoculture may be induced in the process of increasing the level of vitamin A (Horstman, 2011). However, despite all these oppositions and negative pressures, the Golden Rice has been appreciated all over the world and its consumption is increasing year after year.
I also oppose the development of the Golden Rice. It is not worth to change the natural nature of rice for the introduction of some elements of Vitamin A. Cross-pollination may take place across various regions and hence end up changing the indigenous nature of rice and the process is irreversible. Also, I feel that there are other methods that could give children and other members of the public rather than rice modification. The scientist could have gone the UNICEF way where the vitamins are offered separately. The additives are cheap for the organization and can be added to any food. The use of rice as the carrier of Vitamin A nutrients forces the children to eat rice regularly which may be boring and thus rejection by the children causing malnutrition. Furthermore, to avoid side effects of the rice that have not been revealed, it is wise to avoid it and focus on other secure ways of giving Vitamin A. Therefore, I believe that the Golden Rice should be dropped.
Buu, M. (2003). Golden Rice: Genetically Modified to Reduce Vitamin A Deficiency, Benefit or Hazard? Nutrition Bytes, 9(2).
Crawford, W. (2001, May 05). Looking beyond the golden glow. The Mercury. Hobart Town, Tas.
Genetically Modified Organisms: The "Golden Rice" Debate | High School Bioethics. (2018). Retrieved from HYPERLINK "https://med.nyu.edu/highschoolbioethics/genetically-modified-organisms-"golden-rice"-debate" https://med.nyu.edu/highschoolbioethics/genetically-modified-organisms-"golden-rice"-debate
Horstman, K. (2011). Governance of Health Care Innovation. Excursions into Politics, Science and Citizenship. Lulu Com.
Miller, G., & Spoolman, S. (2007). Environmental science: problems, connections, and solutions. Cengage Learning.
Singh, U. (Ed.). (2016). Biofortification of food crops. New Delhi, India: Springer.
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