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Patent against malnutrition

The golden rice of the Freiburg biology Peter Beyer receives Patens for Humanity Award

Patent against malnutrition

Foto: International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños/Philippinen


Despite current interventions, vitamin A deficiency is the leading killer of children globally (2-3 million annually) and also the leading cause of childhood blindness (500,000 cases annually). Most cases arise in Asia where the staple food eaten by 3.5 billion people daily, white rice, lacks vitamin A sources typically found in meat and leafy vegetables. These deaths and blindness are preventable.

Golden Rice was genetically enhanced to provide a source of vitamin A for people subsisting mainly on rice. Professors Potrykus and Beyer invented the technology after a decade of research, and have worked with Dr. Dubock since 2000 to donate it to the resource poor in developing countries. Patenting the technology allowed the inventors to partner with Syngenta on commercial projects in return for support of their humanitarian objectives to make Golden Rice available free of charge to those in need. Local Golden Rice varieties are currently being developed by public sector institutions in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, with a target cost no more than white rice.


CV of Peter Beyer:


Prof. Dr. Peter Beyer
Institute for Biology II
Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 (0)761/203-2529
e-mail: peter.beyer@biologie.uni-freiburg.de



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