Golden Rice, a GMO-product for public good
|演題||Golden Rice, a GMO-product for public good|
|講演者||Prof. Ingo Potrykus（Swiss Federal Institute of Technology）|
Vitamin A-deficiency is a severe public health problem, especially in countries with rice-dependent, poor populations. The medical consequences lead, amongst other. to blindness and death. Traditional interventions are helpful, but still leave us with up to 500 000 blind children annually. A novel and complementing intervention builds on the concept of “bio-fortification” - the addition of missing micronutrients to crop plants - using the potential of genetics. Golden Rice is the first example in which GMO-technology has been applied for this purpose. The putative impact of Golden Rice as calculated in socio-economic ex-ante studies indicates for e.g. India the potential to rescue 95% of the rice-dependent children at risk, or 40 000 annually. If Golden Rice were not a GMO, it would be in use since 1992. Unfortunately, the trait – provitamin A in the polished kernel – is only possible via genetic engineering. Under present regulation GMO-based varieties carry a selective penalty of ca. $ 20 million and ca. 10 years of extra time for development. Golden Rice will reach the subsistence farmers in Asia from 2012 onwards, but its history is teaching an important lesson: if regulation will not change, the enormous potential for public good from GMO-technology will be lost – and hundreds of millions of poor in developing countries will suffer from the consequences, as do the unnecessary 400 000 blind and dead children in India as the consequence from 10 years of delay of deployment of Golden Rice. A recent study week in the Vatican has come to the conclusion that present regulation has no justification from science and does neither improve consumer nor environmental safety.
島本 功 (firstname.lastname@example.org)