On August 8th, 400 protesters ripped out seedlings of a new genetically modified plant called golden rice at a testing ground in the Philippines. Genes from bacteria and corn have been added to the rice to make it a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and weakens the immune system, contributing to 2 million deaths every year. (Golden rice is being developed by a non-profit organization, not Monsanto.) As the Philippine government prepares to rule on whether or not to allow farmers to grow the wonder-crop, the anti-GMO movement is digging itself in for a fight...Remember, they're not pro-environment, they're anti-human.
“There’s so much misinformation floating around about G.M.O.’s that is taken as fact by people,” said Michael D. Purugganan, a professor of genomics and biology and the dean for science at New York University, who sought to calm health-risk concerns in a primer on GMA News Online, a media outlet in the Philippines: “The genes they inserted to make the vitamin are not some weird manufactured material,” he wrote, “but are also found in squash, carrots and melons.”…
“A lot of the criticism of G.M.O.’s in the Western world suffers from a lack of understanding of how really dire the situation is in developing countries,” he said.
With golden rice, we have a real, cost-effective way to safely provide millions of people with healthier food. The anti-GMO crowd is doing its best Marie Antoinette impression, saying the world’s poor should get the vitamin A this new rice provides by eating more fruits and vegetables. A well-balanced diet is a luxury many can’t afford. Cheap, nutrient-rich golden rice can save lives.