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Greenpeace knows no shame in Golden Rice battle

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  • Golden rice, a means to prevent the deaths of millions of children from vitamin A deficiency, is actively opposed by groups like Greenpeace.

At present, golden rice seed is not available anywhere in the world, but field trials have been completed in the Philippines (despite an attack on one of the test plots by rampaging activists) and regulatory hurdles are next, with a minimal window of two to three years until seed can be distributed. As the clock ticks in the interval, the effects of vitamin A deficiency will continue afflicting millions of children.

If Greenpeace and other opposition groups succeed, Third World farmers will never have the choice to plant golden rice and countries will never have the choice to distribute the seed.

 

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Brian Hanley, writing at International Policy Digest, brooks no tolerance for Greenpeace’s tactics: “With Greenpeace activists screaming to poor farmers that golden rice will kill their children, it’s going to be a long, tough slog for golden rice. However, I think this is going to backfire on Greenpeace and other NGO’s. Organizations like Greenpeace that misrepresent the facts while claiming righteousness are not exactly earning accolades. Greenpeace has put itself in that position with this campaign against golden rice. Greenpeace abused the IRB process in order to stop ongoing harm (blindness, disfigurement, death from disease) from being treated. Greenpeace’s Western born activists are terribly disconnected from the deadly harm that vitamin A deficiency does to the poor. It is not just obvious symptoms of extreme deficiency. Childhood diseases take far more lives when vitamin A is low.”

Golden rice opponents choose their own version of science and want to block genuine sustenance from reaching millions of people in the most remote corners of the planet, but history will prove them wrong. Professor Singer sums it up well: “In some environmental circles, blanket opposition to GMOs is like taking a loyalty oath – dissidents are regarded as traitors in league with the evil biotech industry. It is time to move beyond such a narrowly ideological stance. Some GMOs may have a useful role to play in public health, and others in fighting the challenge of growing food in an era of climate change. We should consider the merits of each genetically modified plant on a case-by-case basis.”

 

Follow me on Twitter: @CBennett71 or email me: cbennett@farmpress.com

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 5

Tom in CA (not verified)
on Feb 27, 2014

And, we know absolutely that "golden" rice will not have harmful effects on the children?
Why not just plant carrots and yams to get even more 'good' foods?

on Feb 27, 2014

Tom, how many studies are needed? All of the science clearly shows no detrimental effects whatsoever. Why not give these farmers the choice and chance to plant rice that will keep children from blindness and save lives. Chris

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 27, 2014

So why can't it be released? What's stopping this supposed miracle from seeing the light of day? The biotech industry has been promising this for over 10 years. Surely Greenpeace can't stop its release. Who's stopping it from being sold to farmers? Poorly written pro GM BS article

on Feb 27, 2014

Currently it's a matter of clearing Philippine regulation (food, feed, environment). After that the final hurdle will be a Philippine nutritional study/approval. Activist groups tried to scuttle the field tests by ripping up a plot just last year. Opposition groups, including Greenpeace, have made outlandish claims against golden rice, ginning up fear and confusion in a host of countries that desperately need the rice.

ChemieBabe (not verified)
on Feb 27, 2014

Has any one asked the kids that are suffering from Vitamin A deficiency? Oh never mind, they are children of color, they live in crummy countries that most Americans can't find on a map anyway so they don't count! WOW did I just call Green Peace and their buddies racist? Yes I did!

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