Golden Rice: Vitamin A Deficiency by Shadhi Mansoori

Before completing this task, I was under the impression that genetically modified organisms and foods had a negative consequence on the environment and on human health. Some major contributions that led me to think this way were the books and movies I have read and watched that portray GMO’s as destructive to society. Books that I reveled in as a teenager such as The Hunger Games and Maximum Ride included experiments in which people and organisms were modified under the malicious intent of scientists to try and manipulate the world. GMOs in these instances were never used for good, but for evil, so that is why I have always associated them with negative things. Besides this, the very name of genetically modified foods had a negative connotation in my mind since it meant altering the very nature of an organism.

Now that I have become more familiar with the concept of GMOs and how effective they can be in combating world hunger and diseases, my attitude towards them has changed. When I found out that the genetically modified organism called Golden Rice is being used to combat ocular problems in developing countries, I was surprised. I was amazed at how scientists could turn on Beta Carotene production in rice grains so that Vitamin A is produced. In the many regions where rice is a staple food, lacking Vitamin A leads to blindness. However, consuming Golden Rice allows for sufficient Vitamin A intake, and it can save someone’s eye sight.  Learning about the effectiveness of Golden Rice was the first time I had ever realized that GMOs can and are being used to improve society. Because there is little risk of using GMOs, I now support GMOs as a part of research and consumption.

I would advise the congresswoman to support the delegate by funding GMO food supplies. Given the country’s situation in terms of transportation and electricity, Golden Rice is a good option for them since it is a nonperishable food that does not require refrigeration.  However, I would encourage the congresswoman to delay funding until more research on Golden Rice has been conducted. Because Golden Rice has not been consumed regularly by many people, it would be in the congresswoman’s best interest to wait for more information to come. If the congresswoman decides to take action prematurely, this could potentially lead to bad press for her and her political future. An alternative to Golden Rice that I would suggest is to use genetically modified sweet potatoes as a substitute. Genetically modified Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and are resistant to viruses. The negative effect of using sweet potatoes is that they are perishable items that would need to be transported quickly and efficiently, which would pose a problem for this country.

golden rice


8 thoughts on “Golden Rice: Vitamin A Deficiency by Shadhi Mansoori

  1. enjoyed reading your comments very much. I like the fact you proposed an alternative to Golden Rice, as well as weighed the pros and cons. Your advice to Congresswoman da Silva is well expressed.
    Dr K

    • Thank you for your comment. I thought it was important to consider an alternative to Golden Rice in case the rice cannot be grown in certain agricultural regions due to the soil.
      -Shadhi Mansoori

  2. I enjoyed reading your post! It was interesting to see that your opinion on GMOs changed after the project. It is amazing to think that Golden rice can change so many people’s lives for the better just by providing the necessary Vitamin A intake in their diet. I think that your advice to the Congresswoman is very rational; and it’s very helpful that you also provided her an alternative crop to Golden rice that would provide the same benefits!- Diane Chen

    • Thank you for your comment! I was also fascinated to discover how important Vitamin A is in our diets. Golden Rice has the potential to save millions from blindness. I wish people were accepting to it so that i can be more widely used.
      -Shadhi Mansoori

  3. I also had negative thoughts towards Genetically Modified Organisms before research. Like you mentioned in the beginning of your blog, I think most of the media these days reflects GMO’s in a negative light. I found it very interesting that GMO’s can combat diseases and other illness. It is amazing how scientist can turn on Beta Carotene production in order to produce vitamin A! Genetically Modified Organisms really do have positive aspects. I also liked how you gave your honest opinion and suggested an alternative for the Congresswoman. Great Job! -Britney Sullivan

  4. I had never heard of golden rice before. This is so cool! I hope they start producing more crops such as golden rice to cure issues such as vitamin deficiency induced blindness.They need to start publicizing crops such as these to show people that GMO’s really make a positive impact on people’s lives. – Tori Flaherty

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