Genetically modified Golden Rice falls short on lifesaving promises
Researchers in Bangladesh also are in the early stages of confined field trials of Golden Rice, but it is doubtful that these efforts will progress any quicker than in the Philippines.
Even if genetic modification succeeds in creating a strain of rice productive enough for poor farmers to grow successfully, it’s unclear how much impact the rice will have on children’s health.
As Stone and Glover point out, it is still unknown if the beta carotene in Golden Rice can even be converted to Vitamin A in the bodies of badly undernourished children. There also has been little research on how well the beta carotene in Golden Rice will hold up when stored for long periods between harvest seasons, or when cooked using traditional methods common in remote rural locations, they argue.
Meanwhile, as the development of Golden Rice creeps along, the Philippines has managed to slash the incidence of Vitamin A deficiency by non-GMO methods, Stone said.