The Allow Golden Rice Now! Campaign continues to try to convince Greenpeace to change their position on the use of Golden Rice a genetically modified (GM) rice that has the potential to markedly reduce the consequences of malnutrition in the Third World related to vitamin A deficiency. The refusal by Greenpeace to allow the use of this product has resulted in about 8 million deaths, mostly among poor children. This time, the campaign led by Dr. Patrick Moore, engaged in a demonstration in front of the Greenpeace headquarters in Hamburg. (Dr. Moore was an original member of Greenpeace, before the group veered away from its humanitarian mission into anti-science mischief).
In response to Greenpeace s views on genetic science, Dr. Moore says, Greenpeace began as a humanitarian organization, to save civilization from an all-out nuclear war. Today Greenpeace turns a blind eye to the consequences of their black-and-white approach to genetic science. What has happened to the peace in Greenpeace?
On another GM-related note, General Mills has officially decided to label its original breakfast cereal, Cheerios, as being free of ingredients containing GMOs. This announcement follows a No GMOs, Cheerios!, petition campaign online, led by activist group Green America. General Mills denies the idea that this petition influenced their decision to remove GMO-containing ingredients from original cheerios.
In a piece written by former ACSH trustee Dr. Henry Miller and ACSH advisor Gregory Conko on Forbes.com, 'General Mills has a soggy idea for Cheerios," they point out that What makes modern bioengineering unique is its greater precision and thus the greater predictability and safety of the resulting varieties. Study after study, as well as real-world observations by academics and government agencies, has confirmed the safety of the technology.
Furthermore, they add that a 2001 document released by the Food and Drug Administration cautions against using terms such as not genetically modified or GMO free because genetic modification encompasses all types of alterations of the genotype of a plant, including both new and traditional techniques. What consumers don t realize is that almost all food crops have been genetically modified in some way. Thus, using these labels would violate this law. According to the Dr, Miller and Mr. Conko, It [General Mills] has chosen a course guaranteed to raise its costs with little if any benefit, embolden anti-technology activists, and put itself in potential legal jeopardy. Company executives should have eaten their Wheaties.
And one last note: ACSH s publications on biotech-food, co-authored by Greg Conko, will be released soon: Watch for them!