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The Benefit Of Gmo’s In Asialand

1128 words - 5 pages

In this day and age, the words genetically modified are not uncommon. It seems we cannot enter a pharmacy or grocery store without reading labels that tell us of the genetically altered substance they contain. It is truly a great feat that scientist have made by discovering how to genetically modify the traits of living things. Genetically altered foods, for example, have the ability to last longer, become resistant to pesticides, increase taste, and hold more vitamins than their pre-genetically altered parents. Genetically altered foods can also help diets with vitamin deficiencies that cause many preventable diseases. One of the diseases that can be helped with introduction of vitamin supplements is childhood blindness. An estimate found on goldenrice.org reports that about 250,000 to 500,000 children go permanently blind every year from the lack of vitamin A in their diets. Vitamin A is essential for a plethora of functions including eyesight (Tang). Many rice-consuming populations are especially vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency because regular rice does not contain vitamin A or its precursors and intake of vitamin A-containing meat is low (Tang). One way of helping decrease the vitamin A deficiencies in children of rice-consuming populations is the introduction of a genetically modified rice known as “Golden” Rice contains beta-carotene, which helps provide humans with vitamin A. This vitamin supplement produced in the rice could help to eliminate childhood blindness in these rice-consuming populations. Asialand, a small country that does not allow any genetically modified foods to be grown or sold within its borders, is one of these rice-consuming populations that would greatly benefit from the introduction of Golden Rice to its people.
Golden Rice gets its “golden” color from the inserted DNA makes the rice yellow. In an article found on CYFERnet.org regarding the Mission of the Month: DNA, January 2008 , it was stated that one small serving of golden rice could supply enough beta-carotene to meet 10 percent of the daily requirement for Vitamin A. Further inquiry showed the results of a study published in the June 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the extent to which beta-carotene from Golden Rice can be converted to vitamin A (Tang). The data indicated that subsequent conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A was estimated to occur at a rate of 3.8 to 1. This is much better than the rates of 10:1 to 27:1 estimated previously for colored vegetables such as spinach and carrots (Tang). This proof shows that Golden Rice can greatly improve the vitamin deficiency in those lacking vitamin A. Conclusions from this study stated that, “these results show the potential from a much more advantageous bioconversion rate than achieved from any other known crop-based source of beta-carotene. They imply that Golden Rice could probably supply 50% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin A” .(Tang) Not only...

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