The Philippines has become the first country in the world to get approval for the commercial production of genetically modified “golden rice”, a variety of rice enriched with nutrients to help reduce childhood malnutrition. Golden Rice was developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to contain additional levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, after spending nearly two decades.
This new variety has already received food safety approvals from regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America but the Philippines is the first country to approve commercial cultivation. Golden Rice is also currently undergoing final regulatory review in Bangladesh.
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Facts About the Golden Rice
- Golden Rice was first conceived by Professors Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer in the late 1980s. IRRI became the first licensee of the scientists’ work in 2001.
- It is named Golden Rice due to its bright yellow colour.
- A cup of golden rice can give as much as 40 per cent of vitamin A which is very essential for children aged six months to five years, to combat childhood blindness and save lives in the developing world.
- It is also the first genetically modified rice approved for commercial propagation in South and Southeast Asia.
Benefits of Golden rice
- Golden rice is a genetically modified, biofortified crop. Biofortification increases the nutritional value in the crop.
- Golden rice was developed to cure Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in the developing countries. VAD has numerous negative health effects such as dryness of the eye that may lead to blindness if left untreated; reduced immune response and an increase in the mortality rate due to infections.
- Golden Rice is above all a well-being, a nutritional, a medical project.
- Beta carotene is needed by humans in order to make vitamin A – which is essential for good vision. The advantage of golden rice is that it can be used in areas where vitamin A deficiency is common, so it can help prevent blindness.
- Golden Rice is a staple food crop for over half of the world’s population, providing 30–72% of the energy intake for people in Asian countries, and becoming an effective crop for targeting vitamin deficiencies.
Important points for all competitive exams
- Philippines President: Rodrigo Duterte.
- Philippines Capital: Manila.
- Philippines Currency: Philippine peso.
- The Philippines is bounded by the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the southwest, and shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia and Brunei to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest.
Important Solved questions for all competitive exams
|1. Which country became first country to approve genetically modified ‘golden rice’ for commercial production?|
2. When was golden rice introduced?
3. WHO has approved Golden Rice for use in their country?
Ans. Bangladesh appears about to become the first country to approve Golden Rice for planting.
4. What’s the difference between normal rice and golden rice?
Ans. The difference between golden rice and normal rice is that golden rice is a genetically modified rice which contains a high amount of beta-carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids while normal rice contains no beta-carotene, and no vitamin A. Rice is the staple diet in many countries, particularly in Asia.
5. Who invented Golden Rice?
Ans. Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer in the 1990s
6. Which countries use Golden Rice?
Ans. Golden Rice has been accepted as safe for consumption by the Governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA, and registrations have been applied for in Philippines and Bangladesh.