Debunking Golden Rice myths: a geneticist’s perspective

Science on the Land

Michael Purugganan at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) explains why he believes in the genetically modified (GM, genetically engineered, GE) rice called Golden Rice. He says that Golden Rice is part of the ‘answers to global malnutrition’.

After dismissing ‘Myth 1: Golden Rice is “unnatural”’ and ‘Myth 2: GMOs are unsafe and risky’, Dr Purugganan tackles ‘Myth 3: Golden Rice is a big business’. I agree with him about the first two of those. But on what he calls ‘Myth 3’ he’s on shaky ground. He says, ‘IRRI is not selling Golden Rice, and no big biotech company will make money out of it.’ Here’s IRRI’s statement about private companies and Golden Rice.

Not everybody agrees on that point. In an article, ‘Golden Rice is no solution to malnutrition,’ the not-for-profit GRAIN says, ‘IRRI is hardly a public institution. Alongside from the funding it receives from governments…

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About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, Maiduguri as a lecture & a Researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I was Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) and now Director North East Zone NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
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