Bangladesh plans Golden Rice field trials to fight vitamin A deficiency
The Daily Star reports that Bangladesh intends to go forward with field tests of Golden Rice, genetically engineered rice that helps fight vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness in children. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute is applying to import a variety developed in the Philippines that is rich in beta carotene, a source of vitamin A.
According to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, “Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Globally, approximately 670,000 children die every year and another 350,000 go blind because they are vitamin A deficient,” Read more.
UK scientist recommends GM crops for global food security
Sainsbury Laboratory scientist Jonathan D.G. Jones wrote an article about the widespread misunderstanding of GM crops and the importance of their adoption, ISAAA reports. The article, titled “Why Genetically Modified Crops?”, strongly recommends the use of genetic modification “at a time when we need every tool in the toolbox to ensure adequate food production in the short, medium and long term.” Read more.
GM banana could help prevent spread of fungal disease in East Africa
According to All Africa, a GM banana with improved resistance to a devastating fungal disease could help smallholder farmers in East Africa save their crops. A leaf fungus has spread through the region over the last three decades, threatening to halve fruit production on affected plantations. A team of scientists at Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Institute (NARL) said field trials of GM bananas have shown “promising results.” Read more.