The GM rice being field tested, known as Golden Rice, is modified with two genes, one from bacteria and one from maize, to produce beta carotene, a source of Vitamin A, in the rice grain. Proponents of Golden Rice say that it could significantly reduce vitamin A deficiency, which can cause severe illness, blindness, and even death. But beta carotene is found abundantly in many plants and fruits that are already cultivated in Asia, such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, and there is no need to put farmers and consumers at risk by introducing GMOs when these other sources are available.
|Mango is the world's most eaten fruit, and a very important source for beta carotene. Photo: Roei.tabak.|