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[SANET-MG] testing German rice in Louisiana
I cannot find any application for testing enhanced golden rice on the
Aphis website or the http://www.nbiap.vt.edu/cfdocs/fieldtests1.cfm
site . The enhanced rice has more beta carotene than the original golden
rice. The problem is that too much vitamin A or beta carotene may cause
birth defects in humans. If people are eating vitamin A rich foods the
addition of super enriched rice may be too much. At any rate there
should be notification and public input on such tests in USA, at least I
think there should. Commercial rice and organic rice producers in
Louisiana should have been made aware of such tests because there is the
enhanced beta carotene production genes but also a number of regulatory
genes tagging along in the genetic construction. Of course it was
awfully nice of USDA to take on the testing of food crops that have
been rejected as dangerous in a number of other countries. It was not so
nice to keep the Louisiana rice farmers in the dark about the tests.
Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News, May 2, 2005, Volume 33, Number 28
Jorge Mayer, a plant scientist with Campus Technologies in Freiburg,
Germany, described frustrations faced by developers of the vitamin
A-rich Golden Rice variety as they seek field trials and
commercialization in developing countries. He noted that regulatory
delays prevented field trials of Golden Rice in Asia, with the result
that the trials are being conducted in Louisiana.
Noting that a new strain of Golden Rice has 23 times the beta-carotene
content of the original variety, Mayer said, “We’re confident that it’s
bioavailable, but that has to be proved. There will be trials this year
Greenpeace and other biotech critics have targeted the lack of
bioavailability data for Golden Rice (see PTCN April 4, Page 11). Mayer
said the development team has been unable until now to grow enough of
the rice under field conditions to conduct bioavailability studies.
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