Since rice is the most vital grain for humans on earth, it has long been a staple of human diets. More people are fed and live longer thanks to rice production than any other crop.
Golden rice should be used in addition to other treatments for vitamin A deficiency, such as eating foods naturally high in vitamin A or beta-carotene, eating meals fortified with vitamin A, taking vitamin A supplements, and breastfeeding as advised.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that vitamin A deficiency affects 230 million children worldwide. It also states that at least one million children per year are dying of diseases related to this deficiency. (http://www.biotech.iastate.edu).
Every day, rice feeds half the world.
In many nations, rice accounts for more than 60%, if not 80%, of daily calories. Widespread vitamin A insufficiency is a problem, and it’s particularly bad in nations where rice is the main staple meal. For these reasons, the project’s global leadership must give way to local leadership in order to promote and support the local adoption of Golden Rice. Locals must also refer to the federal government, local governments, village organizations, and family structures.
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Nutrients in rice
Rice contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, phosphorus, thiamin, and niacin, in addition to being a source of protein. Some elements that are uniquely found in brown rice, such as vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, are lost during the milling and polishing processes that turn brown rice into white or polished rice.
Making sure that Golden Rice is accessible to anyone who wants to grow or consume it is the most crucial aspect of the initiative. The potential health and welfare benefits of Golden Rice must be “adopted” into the daily diet in order to be realized. Golden rice can only be adopted in a nation after receiving official written government clearance from that nation that it is safe to grow and eat. Only then can farmers obtain the seed and cultivate the crop. And only if it is at least as productive as the white rice they currently grow will they want to grow it. Growers must also market their Golden Rice after harvest, which necessitates knowing what the public or the government wants.
Some specialty rice varieties, like those that are purple or red in color, contain higher quantities of the pigment anthocyanin, a well-known antioxidant.
Despite this, modern varieties of rice (whether white or brown) do not contain enough micronutrients on their own to promote optimum health. IRRI is developing healthier rice to improve the nutritional value of the grain and, in the future, could provide more vitamin A, iron, and zinc to individuals in rice-eating countries who do not currently obtain enough of these elements.
What Role Does Rice Play in Diet?
Rice is a rich source of complex carbohydrates, which are the best source of energy. Genetic analysis has already determined that rice is a high-glycemic index (GI) food. The GI evaluates the relative ability of a food’s carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels after intake. High-GI foods can increase your risk of developing diabetes, whereas low-GI meals are better for your health and can help lower your risk.
But according to an IRRI study, the GIs of various rice varieties vary, with an average medium GI of 64 and a range from a low of 48 to a high of 92. This shows that individuals who consume a conventional diet can include rice as a component of a healthy diet and that individuals who have diabetes or are at risk of developing it can select the right type of rice to support a low-GI diet.
Golden Rice Project
Golden rice is a GM grain that has been biofortified. Crops that have been biofortified are more nutritious. Golden rice is genetically altered to produce beta-carotene, a substance not generally found in rice. The body produces vitamin A as it breaks down beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for having healthy skin, immune systems, and vision.
Why Needed Of Golden Rice?
Hundreds of millions of individuals live in numerous poor countries that are vitamin A deficient (VAD), meaning their diets are inadequate in this substance. The primary cause of childhood blindness in several regions of Asia is VAD, which is a serious public health concern. Many scientists and humanitarians believe that Golden Rice could be an innovative VAD treatment because rice is a staple diet for millions of people in countries with a high VAD prevalence. Rice breeders have incorporated the characteristics of Golden Rice into the rice cultivars in these countries. In 2021, the Philippines became the first country to authorize the production of Golden Rice cultivars. Bangladesh stated that while a decision has not yet been made, it is likely to allow commercial manufacturing. (https://geneticliteracyproject.org/)
Risks and Controversies Surrounding the Use of GMOs
The effects of changing an organism’s natural state through the expression of foreign genes are unknown, even when the genes being transferred exist naturally in other species. After all, such modifications may alter the organism’s metabolism, the pace of growth, and/or reaction to environmental elements. These effects have an impact on both the GMO as a whole and the environment in which it is permitted to flourish in nature. The likelihood of being exposed to novel allergens in genetically modified foods as well as the transmission of antibiotic-resistant genes to gut flora are potential health concerns to humans.
Initially, studies that have amply shown that a universal source of vitamin A can prevent 23-34% of global under-five child mortality, and up to 50% mortality prevention in the case of measles, will be used to support the promotion of adoption of Golden Rice as an additional intervention for vitamin A deficiency. Additionally, it has long been recognized that the primary contributing factor to childhood permanent blindness is vitamin A deficiency. And the majority of persons who pass away from vitamin A insufficiency do not first go blind. It will be more profitable to adopt Golden Rice, which is its regular consumption by people than to put the money to virtually any other use.
Q: What is Genetically Engineered food?
Genetically Engineered (GE) food has had its DNA changed by inserting a desired into a cell of an organism.
Q: What do you mean by VAD?
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) has killed millions of children in less-developed countries for at least the last three decades. It is roughly estimated about 2 million annually. Meanwhile, VAD has continued to cause severe illness and death among certain populations worldwide, especially children.
Q: How much amount should be consumed golden rice and why is it named so?
Golden rice is distinguished by its uniform golden color. Health will increase if you consume at least 40 g daily.