Golden rice is a variety of Oryza sativa (rice) produced through genetic engineering of biosynthesized beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin-A in the edible parts of rice developed by Ingo Potrykus and his group. The aim is to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary Vitamin-A.
Golden rice differs from its parental strain by the addition of three beta-carotene biosynthesis genes namely ‘psy’ (phytoene synthase) from daffodil plant Narcissus pseudonarcissus and ‘crt-1’ gene from the soil bacterium Erwinia auredorora and ‘lyc’ (lycopene cyclase) gene from wild-type rice endosperm. The endosperm of normal rice, does not contain beta-carotene. Golden-rice has been genetically altered so that the endosperm now accumulates Beta-carotene. This has been done using Recombinant DNA technology. Golden rice can control childhood blindness – Xerophthalmia.
GM Food – Benefits
• High yield without pest
• 70% reduction of pesticide usage
• Reduce soil pollution problem
• Conserve microbial population in soil
Risks – believed to
• Affect liver, kidney function and cancer
• Hormonal imbalance and physical disorder
• Anaphylactic shock (sudden hypersensitive reaction) and allergies.
• Adverse effect in immune system because of bacterial protein.
• Loss of viability of seeds seen in terminator seed technology of GM crops.