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Gerald F. Combs, Jr
Professor Emeritus
gfc2@cornell.edu
Division of Nutritional Sciences
Cornell University
All That Glitters May Not Be Gold: A Troublesome Case of Transgenic Rice

In this decision case, a congressional staffer must weigh a number of competing concerns and issues, including popular reactions to genetically modified organisms, in deciding how to present information to her boss, an influential congressman drafting legislation to support agricultural research. The case explores the social and biological issues surrounding micronutrient malnutrition, including deficiencies of several vitamins and essential minerals, especially iron, iodine, and vitamin A, which affect at least one-third of the world’s population, primarily in developing nations. Developed for a graduate-level seminar on “Genomics, Agriculture, Food Systems and Development,” the case teaches about the issues surrounding genomic applications in agriculture and their implications to health, environmental stewardship, economic sustainability, and national development.