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[report整理] SENEWS-2011-03-01

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[Homework]SENEWS-2011-03-01

This is the VOA Special Agriculture Report.
White rice is the world's most popular form of rice.But it goes through a million process that moves many nutrients.As a result,people who eat a poor diet based on white rice may not get enough vitamin A.
Each year an estimated two 250 000  to half of million children go blind from vitamin A deficiency.The world health organization says half of them die within a year of losing their sight.Vitamin A deficiency is a problem especially in Africa and Southeast Asia.
So scientists thought of an answer.They combined the white rice with plant compounds that the body can change the vitamin A.The rice contains beta-carotene and other
carotenoids.The plant colorings give the rice a golden color.
The scientists also thought of the plan to give away this golden rice for free to poor farmers.But the rice is genectically engineered. They say it can not be made using traditional methods to breed plants.

The scirntists worked for 10 years, untill 1990, to develop the technology to add genes to rice.Then it took 9 more years to get genes they wanted into the seed.
The first field tests took place in 2004 at Louisiana State University in the United States.Golden rice is currently being tested in the Philippines.It is still not available for general use.
Co-inventor Ingo Potrykus says rice with two add genes will be available in 2017.One gene comes from maize or corn and the other from a soil bacterium.
Mr. Potrykus is retired from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.He blames the delays on too many rouls about genetically modified crops.
Opponents say such crops may cause environmental damage by breading with conventional plants.Opponents also quension the safty of biotech foods.
Mr. Potrykus says golden rice has never shown to be unsafe for the environment or people.Many agricultural organizations support the project.
But there are also critics ,includings researchers for the environmental group greenpeace.Several months ago they questioned whether golden rice could do much for vitamin A deficiency.They said releasing genetically modified rice in Asia could permanently change traditional rice varieties and wild ansestors of rice.



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