In a front-page article in the New York Times entitled Golden Rice: Lifesaver, national correspondent Amy Harmon sums up the superstition and activist-generated controversy surrounding golden rice and the implications it may have for the future. She discusses how the unfounded fears of corporate control of agriculture and the alleged unknown risks of GMOs could potentially destroy a crop biofortified rice whose potential to improve nutrition in developing countries, and developed ones, may otherwise go unrealized. And she further emphasizes that genetically engineered crops have the potential for the biggest impact for the world s poor. Critics of golden rice, who believe that simply encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption among these poor families will suffice to ward off vitamin deficiency, do not understand the expense and logistical difficulties that would thwart such efforts.
And vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem, as ACSH pointed out last week, affecting approximately 250 million preschool children worldwide, causing blindness, immunocompromise, and in some cases, death. We further emphasized the potential of this rice to help these millions of children. Remember to show your support for this technology and condemn such vigilantism: sign the petition to protest the destruction of these crops in the Philippines. We at ACSH have all signed this petition, and we encourage all readers to click the link to add your support.
Javier Delgado of Mexico, one of the petition signers, writes, This technology can save lives, but false fears can destroy it.