24 Minn. J. Int'l L. 101 (2015)
Golden Rice War in the Philippines: A Ban on Golden Rice Research Is Not a Wise Move following the Judicial Ban on Bt Eggplant Field-Testing

handle is hein.journals/mjgt24 and id is 107 raw text is: 











The Golden Rice War in the Philippines: a Ban on
Golden Rice Research Is Not a Wise Move
Following the Judicial Ban on Bt Eggplant Field-
Testing


Huan Lou


    Vitamin   A   deficiency  (VAD)' plagues    children  and
pregnant women in the Philippines, particularly those who
belong   to  inferior socio-economic   classes.2 This   type  of
deficiency, together with other nutrient deficiency problems,
may cause clinical symptoms, such as xerophthalmia,3 which
can lead to blindness and contributes significantly to morbidity
and mortality.4 To tackle VAD, the Filipino government
authorized the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI),
along with a local research body, PhilRice, to experiment with
golden rice, a type of genetically engineered rice rich in beta-
carotene ( -carotene),' which humans can convert into
vitamin A. However, the golden rice project has drawn
significant opposition from groups opposed to Genetically


    1. VAD relates to any state in which vitamin A is subnormal, including
xerophthalmia    and     much      wider    implications.   Joint
WHO/UNICEF/USAID/Helen Keller Int'I/IVACG Meeting, Jakarta, Indon.,
Oct. 13-17, 1980, Control of Vitamin A Deficiency And Xerophthalmia, 672
WHO Technical Report Series 6 (1982) [hereinafter Vitamin A Report].
    2. PEDRO MRA ET AL., FOOD AND NUTRITION RESEARCH INST., THE
PHILIPPINES VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENTATION PROGRAM: INDICATIVE IMPACT,
POLICY, AND PROGRAM IMPLICATIONS, DRAFT 2 (2002).
    3. Xerophthalmia cover[s] all the ocular manifestations of vitamin A
deficiency, including not only the structural changes affecting the conjunctiva,
cornea, and occasionally the retina, but also the biophysical disorders of
retinal rod and cone function that are attributable to vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A Report, supra note 1, at 6 (internal cross-reference omitted).
Xerophthalmia denotes an advanced degree of vitamin A depletion which
constitutes a potential threat to sight. Id.
    4. Florentino S. Solon et al., Vitamin A Deficiency in the Philippines: A
Study of Xerophthalmia in Cebu, 31 AM. J. CLIN. NUTR. 360, 360 (1978).
    5. Matt McGrath, 'Golden Rice' GM Trial Vandalised in the Philippines,
BBC NEWS (Aug. 9, 2013, 8:05 AM), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-
environment-23632042.
    6. Xudong Ye et al., Engineering the Provitamin A ( -carotene)
Biosynthetic Pathway into (Carotenoid-free) Rice Endosperm, 287 SCI. 303, 303
(2000).

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