The photo I chose to lead this article off with shows wild type rice, and the two main iterations of Golden Rice – a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) which has been developed to address vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. You can see quite clearly that golden rice is able to synthesize beta-carotene, the yellow-orange pigment – with the introduction of two exogenous genes.
Having studied plant biotechnology for as long as I have and you end up getting pulled in to GMO arguments from time to time. In the end both parties seem to agree to disagree and it essentially rests on the issue of who can you believe; people who have spent the better part of their lives understanding GMOs from how they are produced to how they impact the environments, or people who are skeptical about where the research funding comes from (read Monsanto), and therefore the fruits of this labour are all poisoned.
This morning I came across a nice compilation of the organizations which are among the Scientific GMO consensus, and their statements on the subject. If you just want to see the list and their statements you can scroll down to the bottom of the article.