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Science Weekly

Golden rice: why has it been banned and what happens now?

Thu Jun 06 2024
Golden RiceGenetically Modified CropsVitamin A Deficiency

Description

This episode explores the story of Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice that could help combat vitamin A deficiency. Despite its potential to save lives, Golden Rice has faced opposition from green organizations and farmers. The recent ban on its commercial growth in the Philippines raises questions about its safety and environmental impact. This comprehensive summary examines the challenges, concerns, and future prospects of Golden Rice.

Insights

Golden Rice's Potential Impact

Golden Rice has the potential to save lives by addressing vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness in half a million children each year.

Opposition to Golden Rice

Greenpeace and local farmers have raised concerns about the safety and environmental impact of genetically modified rice.

Unanswered Questions

Golden Rice has not been tested in the target population with severe vitamin A deficiency, and storage conditions may affect its effectiveness.

Existing Interventions

Traditional nutrition programs and interventions have already made significant progress in tackling vitamin A deficiency.

Chapters

  1. The Truth About AI
  2. The Story of Golden Rice
  3. Challenges and Concerns
  4. The Future of Golden Rice
Summary
Transcript

The Truth About AI

00:09 - 01:06

  • AI is only as powerful as the platform it's built into
  • ServiceNow puts AI to work for people across businesses, removing friction and frustration for employees, supercharging productivity for developers, and providing intelligent tools for service agents to make customers happier

The Story of Golden Rice

01:06 - 06:31

  • A professor genetically modified rice to contain beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A
  • Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in half a million children each year
  • Green organizations and farmers raised concerns about the impact of genetically modified rice on other crops and the role of private companies in agriculture
  • Golden Rice was developed and tested for safety, but faced opposition from Greenpeace and local farmers
  • The Philippine Court of Appeals banned the commercial growth of Golden Rice due to concerns about its safety and environmental impact

Challenges and Concerns

06:37 - 12:43

  • Golden Rice has not been tested in the target population with severe vitamin A deficiency and other nutritional problems
  • Storage conditions affect the decay of beta-carotene levels in Golden Rice
  • Adoption of Golden Rice by farmers is uncertain due to the specific variety required and market availability
  • Traditional nutrition programs and interventions have already made significant progress in tackling vitamin A deficiency

The Future of Golden Rice

12:43 - 14:08

  • Further studies and planting of crops are needed to address unanswered questions
  • The recent court decision in the Philippines will be appealed, but the acceptance and effectiveness of Golden Rice remain uncertain
  • Scientists, economists, and journalists should approach the topic with objectivity and focus on scientific evidence
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