4 Int'l J. Soc. Sci. Stud. 51 (2016)
The Arrested Development of Golden Rice: The Scientific and Social Challenges of a Transgenic Biofortified Crop

handle is hein.journals/ijsoctu4 and id is 1317 raw text is: 




                                                                         International Journal of Social Science Studies
                                                                                   Vol. 4, No. 11; November 2016
                            Fam e                                                ISSN 2324-8033 E-ISSN 2324-8041
                                                                                  Published by Redfame Publishing
                                                                                      URL:  http://ijsss.redfame.com


                        The   Arrested Development of Golden Rice:

   The Scientific and Social Challenges of a Transgenic Biofortified Crop

                                        Hyejin Lee' & Sheldon Krimskyl
 Department of Urban &  Environmental Policy & Planning, Tufts University, Medford, MA, U.S.A.
 Correspondence: Sheldon Krimsky,  Department of Urban  &  Environmental Policy &  Planning, Tufts University, 97
 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA, 02155, U.S.A.


 Received: October 11, 2016            Accepted: October 18, 2016             Available online: October 24, 2016
 doi:10.11114/ijsss.v4ill.1918         URL:  http://dx.doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v4ill.1918


Abstract
Since its initiation to reduce the global public health crisis of vitamin A deficiency (VAD), the Golden Rice (GR)
Project has met with both successes and challenges. After 16 years of its scientific breakthrough in 2000 with the GR
prototype to produce P-carotene in rice grain, it has yet to be released. As the first biofortified crop developed with
transgenic technologies designed to reduce the micronutrient deficiency, GR has met controversy and even academic
scandal. This review updates the science and situates GR in its political, regulatory and economic contexts. In doing so,
peer-reviewed journal  articles on GR  and  VAD   were  studied, specific data were  cited from  well-recognized
organizations, and both the science and regulatory issues were checked through personal communications. This review
aims not only to update and provide evidence-based analysis of GR, but also to facilitate broader social conversations
on transgenic crops.
Keywords:  Golden  Rice, vitamin A deficiency, biofortification, transgenic crops
1. Introduction
On  July 31, 2000 Time Magazine's front cover pictured plant scientist Ingo Potrykus, a professor at the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology, in a field with his new strain of rice with the headline This rice could save a million kids a
year  (Nash, Zurich  Monday,   &  Potrykus,  2000  July). This  article described Potrykus' dream   of creating
carotene-enriched rice that would save countless Third World children from blindness and death. A dozen years later in
August 2012, Greenpeace  International voiced alarm at a scientific publication that had fed genetically engineered (GE)
rice to 24 Chinese children aged 6 to 8 years (Greenpeace International, 2012 September 5). Greenpeace claimed that
the study, supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, could not have been conducted without a breach of
scientific and medical ethics. A campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, responding to this news, said It is incredibly
disturbing to think that an American research body used Chinese children as guinea pigs for GE food, despite a clear
directive against this experiment issued by Chinese authorities in 2008 (Greenpeace International, 2012 September 5).
The publication referred to by Greenpeace was a study that evaluated bioconversion efficiency of P-carotene to vitamin
A from  GE rice in children (Tang et al., 2012). The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in
2012, concluded that P-carotene in GE rice was as effective as pure 3-carotene in oil and better than that in spinach at
providing vitamin A to children (Tang et al., 2012). While media firestorms (Hvistendahl & Enserink, 2012 September
11) and  contentious debates over  GE  rice continued, suspicions were raised that scientific institutions became
vulnerable to anti-GE crop bias (Dubock, 2014). Quite unexpectedly, on July 29 2015 the publisher retracted the article
and gave three reasons (American  Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015). First, the authors failed to provide sufficient
evidence that the study had been approved by  a local ethics committee in China in a manner fully consistent with
National Institutes of Health guidelines. Second, they failed to substantiate the full consent of parents of the children
involved in the study through documentary evidence. Third, specific eligibility issues were questioned for two subjects
in the study. Additionally, Tufts University, the affiliated institution of the principal investigator, issued a statement that
the research failed to meet full compliance with the university's Institutional Review Board and the federal regulations,
while affirming that the study data were validated and no health or safety concerns were identified (Enserink, 2013
September  18).
The GE  rice in this study, also called Golden Rice (GR), was one of the rice (Oryza sativa) varieties under development.


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