Target: World Health Organization
Goal: Support the use of the genetically modified rice to combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries
Nearly 2 million children die every year as a result of vitamin A deficiency. In countries where rice is the main staple, it is a common occurrence. Genetically modified rice, called golden rice, may be the solution to the vitamin deficiency in children. Golden rice has a higher beta carotene content than regular rice. After beta carotene is ingested, the body converts it into vitamin A. In an effort to combat this problem, we must support the growth of genetically modified rice.
Golden rice could be the key to preventing vitamin A deficiency-related deaths. Every year, more than 250,000 pre-school children become blind as a result of vitamin A deficiency; about half of those children die within a year. It is also known to cause children to be more susceptible to measles, which can also lead to their death.
Further trials for the rice are being conducted to ensure that it meets strict regulations before it will be ready for use by low-income farmers. The Golden Rice Humanitarian Board plans to provide the golden rice seeds to farmers in developing countries, for the same price as ordinary seeds. When the rice becomes ready for farmers to use and harvest, it could play a big part in reducing vitamin A deficiency in children. Children from Southeast Asia and parts of Africa will especially benefit from golden rice. Sign this petition and support golden rice.
Dear World Health Organization,
It has come to my attention that nearly 2 million children die every year due to a deficiency in vitamin A. I believe that the solution to preventing such deaths in the future would be to allow farmers in developing countries, where vitamin A deficiency is prevalent, to grow and harvest a genetically modified rice that contains more beta carotene than regular rice.
This genetically modified rice is called golden rice. Although it does not contain vitamin A, it does have beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A after it is ingested. Allowing farmers in developing countries to grow this rice would make it possible for the children to have more vitamin A in their diets, thus preventing deaths caused by the deficiency.
I believe that golden rice has the potential to prevent many deaths in children in countries where rice is the main staple. I ask that you consider supporting this genetically modified rice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Toshiyuki IMAI via flickr