Rice' - An Exercise in How Not to Do Science
'Golden Rice' - a genetically modified rice engineered to produce pro-vitamin A - is being offered as a cure for widespread deficiency of vitamin A in the Third World.
However, a report by the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) has revealed fundamental deficiencies in all aspects of the 'Golden Rice' project, from the scientific/social rationale to the science and technology involved.
'Golden Rice' is not a 'second generation' GM crop as has been claimed. It involves standard first generation technology and carries some of the worst features in terms of hazards to health and biodiversity.
The author, the director of ISIS, argues it is absurd to offer 'Golden Rice' as the answer to cure vitamin A deficiency when there are many cheaper sources of vitamin A or pro-vitamin A, such as green vegetables and unpolished rice, that are rich in other essential vitamins and minerals.
About the author: Dr Mae-Wan Ho is the co-founder and director of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), a non-profit organization that promotes critical public understanding of issues in science and technology, especially with regards to social accountability, ethical implications and sustainability. Since 1994, she has been scientific advisor to the Third World Network. Dr Ho is also well known in the debate on genetic engineering and biosafety, and has raised the issue at the UN, the World Bank and in the European Parliament, in her writings (over 250 works), lectures, and contributions to the media around the world.
1: A gift-horse for the poor
2: The science and technology is standard first generation
Chapter 3: Uncontrollable technology and unpredictable outcomes raise questions on safety
Chapter 4: 'Golden Rice' is no technical improvement and more unsafe