Science & Tech

What is golden rice?

  •  The Philippine Court of Appeals has cancelled biosafety permits for GM Golden Rice and BT eggplant, alleging safety breaches and demanding a halt until the concerns are remedied.
  • The Rockefeller Foundation initiated research on golden rice in 1982.
  • In the 1990s, Peter Bramley found that a single phytoene desaturase gene (bacterial CrtI) could synthesise lycopene from phytoene in genetically engineered tomatoes.
  • In 2000, Ingo Potrykus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Peter Beyer of the University of Freiburg revealed the scientific details of golden rice, following an eight-year experiment.


  • Golden rice uses Psy and CrtI genes from daffodils and a soil bacteria to increase beta-carotene synthesis in the endosperm.

Field Trials and Approvals:

  • Louisiana State University Agricultural Centre completed the first field experiments and approvals for golden rice varieties in 2004.
  • Additional trials were carried out in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Bangladesh.
  • In 2018, Canada and the United States declared golden rice safe for consumption.
  • In 2019, the Philippines legalised golden rice for human consumption, animal feed, and processing.

Controversy over its Use

  • Legal problems in the Philippines in 2023 and 2024 halted commercial propagation because to controversies surrounding its use.
  • Critics have expressed concerns regarding its safety, environmental effect, and efficacy when compared to alternative approaches like as supplements and dietary variety.
  • Greenpeace opposes genetically modified organisms in agriculture, as well as the production of golden rice.
  • Vandana Shiva, an Indian anti-GMO campaigner, has spoken out against golden rice, expressing concerns about biodiversity loss and the availability of diverse and nutritious food.

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