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Golden Rice

  • 25 Nov 2019
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Bangladesh is to be the first country to approve golden rice planting in the country.

  • Golden rice is a genetically modified variety of rice.
  • It is developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
  • This variety of rice is claimed to be able to fight vitamin A deficiency.
    • Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness among children and can also lead to death due to infectious diseases such as measles.
  • This rice variety will not be more expensive than the conventional variety.
  • The presence of beta-carotene pigment is the reason for its golden colour.
    • The conventional rice is naturally low in the pigment beta-carotene.
    • The beta-carotene is used by the human body to make vitamin A

Vitamin A Deficiency

  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that maintains healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body.
  • Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) can lead to night blindness, a higher risk of the throat, chest, and abdomen infections, follicular hyperkeratosis (dry, bumpy skin), fertility issues and delayed growth in children, etc.
  • Women and children are the most vulnerable to VAD which is the leading cause of childhood blindness and inability of the immune system to combat disease.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

  • IRRI is an independent, non-profit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations with support from the Philippine government.
  • The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa.
  • The IRRI South Asia Regional Centre is located at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
  • It aims to improve the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protect the rice-growing environment for future generations.

Source: IE

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