viernes, julio 31, 2015

We don't need "golden rice"

by Robert Greer
Journalist Will Saletan set the Internet afire yesterday with his long-form piece against anti-GMO activists.  A key component of his argument is that Golden Rice, which has been genetically engineered to contain Vitamin A precursors, has not been welcomed by anti-GMO crowd with open arms.  But what Saletan fails to mention is that the science is still out on whether golden rice is actually the boon it’s claimed to be.
The best evidence we have is that the compounds in the rice are converted to Vitamin A in the human system, but this isn’t enough to say that it’s healthy — Saletan makes a lot of hay out of the fact that anti-GMO activists often can’t point to specific known harms, but instead must rely on fears of unknown future problems.  But unknown side effects are not necessarily inchoate, ad hoc rationales to oppose genetic modification, and are in fact especially salient in the realm of nutrition because of the field’s complexity. The body’s processes for gleaning nutrition from a particular food are highly complex, and depend on many different factors such as the ratios in which the nutrients are presented to the body, the form in which they greet your digestive system, and the composition of your gut biome. For example, iron is difficult for your body to assimilate properly if you’re not getting enough Vitamin Csugars in juice may be dangerous while sugars in whole fruits are not, and large numbers of people are deficient in Vitamin B12 despite getting plenty of it in their diets, for reasons that are still not entirely clear.

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