GMO Golden Rice was promoted as an urgently needed solution to fight vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. It was touted as “an effective source of vitamin A” that could “save a million kids a year.”
But, the FDA published a letter in May stating that the latest version of GMO Golden Rice, named GR2E, has failed to meet the objective.
The FDA concluded: “the levels of beta-carotene in GR2E rice are too low to warrant a nutrient content claim.”
That means the makers of this new Golden Rice cannot state that the rice contains vitamin A at at a level that can be used to fight vitamin A deficiency.
In fact, the beta-carotene content of the rice was both low and variable, ranging between 0.50 and 2.35 ug/g. That’s less than non-GMO fresh carrots (13.8-49.3 ug/g) or spinach (111 ug/g), as reported by GreenMedInfo.
According to that comparison, a better approach for helping children in developing countries is to provide organic produce rich in vitamin A. Another widely used approach is to provide vitamin A supplements, which has been shown to be effective and is much less expensive than developing a GMO food.
But, the biotech industry can’t stand by and watch Golden Rice fail. After all, it’s the poster child for GMOs.
So, predictably, the story will somehow be spun and the narrative will say something like, “GMO Golden Rice Gets FDA Approval.”
What You Can Do:
Don’t fall for the spin. Read the FDA letter for yourself and know the truth.
Golden Rice is genetically modified to produce beta-carotene. It was first mentioned in the scientific literature roughly 18 years ago. Since then, various iterations have been created. The latest version is called GR2E. It was created by adding 3 genes to rice – two of those genes were taken from bacteria and corn. GR2E is made by the International Rice Research Institute and is funded by the Gates Foundation.
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