Golden Rice

Golden rice is a variety of GM rice produced to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of pro-vitamin A in the edible parts of rice, to be used as a fortified food to be grown in areas where there is a shortage of dietary vitamin A. In 2005 a new variety called Golden Rice 2 was announced which produces up to 23 times more beta-carotene than the original variety of golden rice. However, due to significant intervention by environment activists, its not available for human consumption. Golden rice was created by transforming rice with two beta-carotene biosynthesis genes viz. psy (phytoene synthase) from daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and crtl from the soil bacterium Erwinia uredovora. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is currently coordinating the Golden Rice Network with other partners who have expertise in agriculture and nutrition to research and develop Golden Rice In 2011, IRRI announced that Helen Keller International, a leading global health organization that reduces blindness and prevents malnutrition worldwide, was joining their Golden Rice project to further develop and evaluate Golden Rice.

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