Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Golden Rice Soon?

Officials in Bangladesh are poised to approve the sale of "golden rice," which book author Ed Regis argues in an opinion piece in the Washington Post could save children from blindness and death.

Golden rice was developed to contain higher levels of beta carotene to help prevent vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness and death largely among children in the developing world, he adds, but its use ran into not only opposition from activists against genetically modified food, but also opposition from the regulatory agencies of countries it was intended to help.

In particular, Regis, who has written a book on golden rice, says the United Nations-sponsored Cartagena Protocol, which sought to protect biological diversity from unknown effects of GMOs, hamstrung the use of golden rice. He argues that it led to "restrictions on a given GMO in the absence of any actual proof that it would cause harm" and prevented children from getting needed nutrients.

He adds that if Bangladesh does approve golden rice and if it does save children's sight and lives, then regulatory agencies and others " will have a lot of explaining to do."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.