14 year old canadian kid owns the g.m.o debate (plus commentary)

right.. cus beta carotene rice was just lyin around. it's a solution which involves experimenting on humans

The genetic engineering that went into the development of golden rice over the last 15 years is publicly available, and involves the exact same biochemical pathways that produce beta-carotene in other plants. What do you hypothesize the potential harm is in eating it, exactly? How did you come to this conclusion?

From the project FAQ:

The Golden Rice Project is being moved forward at various levels. After the Golden Rice prototype obtained in the year 1999 (Ye et al. 2000) and which accumulated around 1.6 μg/g of β-carotene in the grain, new lines were generated by using gene construct with tissue-specific promoters. This led to the first Golden Rice, which produced up to an average of 6 μg/g of β-carotene. The most advanced version of Golden Rice was produced by Syngenta scientists (Paine et al.2005)— and has been coined GR2. This improved version produces 31 μg/g and more β-carotene, which is more than enough to supply the required amounts of β-carotene, according to the bioavailability results.

that's because you are using a straw man argument. i merely pointed out that vitamin a is just one of many deficiencies

Nope, it wasn't a straw-man argument. I was responding directly to what you said:

how much time, labour and money went into developing a transgenic rice which only solves ONE deficiency problem. people also suffer from iron and folate deficiencies probably others too

How does it matter that golden rice doesn't address other deficiencies, exactly?

actually what i stated was that without fats, fat soluble vitamins and provitamins won't absorb

Yes, I know. And you're still wrong. Here's a summary of peer-reviewed source that disagrees with you (taken from the FAQ, again. I thought you said you read all the relevant literature?):

The average amount to prevent a deficiency state is one-half of that needed for adequate storage in the body (which amounts to 150 μg per day). [...] It is expected that in countries with high per capita consumption of rice, a locally adapted variety producing less than 30 μg of β-carotene per gram of rice would be enough to maintain appropriate levels of vitamin A in the body. Bioavailability studies indicate that regular consumption of Golden Rice will be able to provide the RDA in rice-based societies.

Fat is needed to store beta-carotene. In countries where rice is the staple food, eating enough beta-carotene daily can provide enough vitamin A to prevent deficiency. So, again, what is the source for your claim? I'll certainly consider it if you can provide one, but I'm still waiting.


OK, well can you explain why you're opposed to it then?


  • Dietary Reference Intake. 2001. National Academy of Science Press, Washington DC.

  • Black RE, Morris SS, Bryce J (2003) Where and why are 10 million children dying every year? The Lancet 361:2226-2234.

  • Bryce J, El Arifeen S, Pariyo G, Lanata CF, Gwatkin D, Habicht J-P, and the Multi-Country Evaluation of IMCI Study Group (2003) Reducing child mortaility: can public health deliver? The Lancet 362:159-164.

  • El Arifeen S, Blum LA, Hoque DME, Chowdhury EK, Khan R, Black RE, Victoria CG, Bryce J (2004) Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) in Bangladesh: early findings from a cluster-randomised study. The Lancet 364:1595-1602.

  • Jones G, Steketee RW, Black RE, Bhutta ZA, Morris SS, and the Bellagio Child Survival Study Group (2003) How many child deaths can we prevent this year? The Lancet 362:65-71.

  • Paine JA, Shipton CA, Chaggar S, Howells RM, Kennedy MJ, Vernon G, Wright SY, Hinchliffe E, Adams JL, Silverstone AL, Drake R (2005) A new version of Golden Rice with increased provitamin A content. Nature Biotechnology (published online March).

  • Ye X, Al-Babili S, Klöti A, Zhang J, Lucca P, Beyer P, Potrykus I (2000) Engineering the provitamin A (beta-carotene) biosynthetic pathway into (carotenoid-free) rice endosperm. Science 287:303-305.

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