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Book: Food, Inc.

Chapter 2: Seeds of Gold


The golden rice project succeeded in transferring beta-carotene into rice, the primary diet of poorer
nations to eliminate malnourishment. However, the golden rice could not be donated to the poor
due to multiple license claims by corporates who hold patents to technologies used in its
development. As a solution, Potrykus and Beyer filed a patent for their invention and formed an
agreement with AstraZeneca, which gave approval to the donation of rice seeds to poorer farmers
and in return market it for profits. Thus, corporates relented for a charitable image. This however led
critics to believe that the scientists were profit-minded and used compassion for fame. Shiva, a critic,
also believed that there were simpler methods to eliminate malnourishments such as increasing
greens consumption. This chapter ends with Shiva stating that golden rice is part of the Green
Revolution, which supported homogenous culture that made agriculture less versatile to changes,
and hence is not a real solution for developing countries.
(160 words)