Nearly 15 years after its invention, farmers in the Philippines could start growing golden rice within a year, the BBC reports. But much depends on what national regulators will say after Filipino scientists submit their rice samples for approval in a few weeks.
Golden rice, which is genetically modified to produce vitamin A, has had a tortuous journey from lab to field. Soon after its invention, media reports billed it as a savior for kids in developing countries suffering from vitamin A deficiency, the number-one cause of preventable blindness in children worldwide. At the same time, however, genetic engineering opponents such as Greenpeace launched campaigns against the technology. Consistent opposition against genetically modified crops has delayed every step of golden rice's development, as Science magazine reported in 2008.