Table of Contents:
- Greenpeace knows no shame in Golden Rice battle
- Greenpeace Backfire
- 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.”