Commentary: Blame anti-GMO groups for deaths
The Philippines is the latest front of competition between those supporting Golden Rice and those against allowing it to be grown or being used to supplement diets of developing countries’ populations. Golden Rice is high in Vitamin A, which can help children and adults avoid blindness or even death associated with Vitamin A deficiency (VAD).
Golden Rice is a genetically modified rice; therefore, those against GMOs don’t care how many children go blind or die even when eating this rice is a simple counter to VAD. Golden Rice high in Vitamin A was developed in 2000, and it has been an uphill battle for it to be accepted as a partial replacement for white rice.
Its yellow color identifies it instantly. Those against Golden Rice and GMOs aren’t playing fair. It doesn’t take much to scare the uneducated about Golden Rice because it obviously is quite different as shown by the color.
The Philippines Department of Agriculture reportedly will begin a final study to determine whether to make Golden Rice available for production and marketing. But those anti-GMO activists are pushing the Department of Agriculture to halt any further research on the rice.
Greenpeace and other outside activist organizations are spreading their typical misconceptions that turn into full lies when spread by word of mouth.
Protest events have occurred including an event in front of the main office of the Department of Ag handing out organically farmed vegetables with some beta-carotene (Vitamine A) content.
The main mistruths are that studies have revealed dangers in producing and consuming GM crops and eating GMO’s can cause new allergies in people. Then there is the big claim that GMO consumption has not been “tested” on humans.
Also the groups claim there is no doubt that GMO Golden Rice will contaminate regular white rice grown in the country so that the Philippine people will be unable to avoid eating GMO rice in the future.
Misconceptions being spread widely are keeping one country after the other from breaking through to help their people and promote the consumption of Golden Rice. Even in those few situations where Golden Rice has been available, people have been scared to eat it.
The horror is that VAD is responsible for 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness and up to 2 million deaths each year worldwide, according to the Golden Rice Project. A simple solution is at hand but not being allowed because of the dark hearts of some activists.
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