Eine vergeudete Gelegenheit

PALO ALTO – Eine Gruppe von multinationalen, europäischen Wissenschaftlern hat mithilfe von Gen-Splicing-Technik eine außergewöhnliche Tomate erschaffen. Sie kann mit tief violetter Haut und Fruchtfleisch aufwarten und enthält 200 % mehr Antioxidantien als unveränderte Tomaten. Als sie an Mäuse mit hoher Krebswahrscheinlichkeit verfüttert wurden, verlängerten die Tomaten die Lebensspanne der Mäuse signifikant.

Diese Studien haben weithin Aufmerksamkeit erregt, doch wird eine ebenso bedeutsame Errungenschaft der Gentechnik seit fast einem Jahrzehnt größtenteils ignoriert. Bei dieser Innovation handelt es sich um „Goldenen Reis“, eine Gruppe neuer Reissorten, die durch Gene biologisch verstärkt bzw. angereichert wurden, welche Betacarotin synthetisieren, die Vorstufe von Vitamin A. Das Betacarotin wird im Körper bei Bedarf in die aktive Form umgewandelt.

Die meisten Ärzte in Nordamerika und Europa bekommen während ihrer Berufslaufbahn keinen einzigen Fall von Vitamin-A-Mangel zu sehen. Doch sieht die Lage in armen Ländern vollkommen anders aus, wo Vitamin-A-Mangel unter den Armen grassiert, deren Diät stark von Reis (der weder Betacarotin noch Vitamin A enthält) oder anderen kohlenhydratreichen, vitaminarmen Kalorienquellen dominiert ist.

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