Monday, August 12, 2013

Philippines Protesters Trample, Uproot GM Golden Rice Trial

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Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

A new genetically modified crop of 'Golden rice' was weeks away from harvest in the Philippines. It was reportedly going to be submitted to authorities for evaluation. This was an important milestone as other countries like Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia were considering going for the crops in Philippines' wake.

Growing GM rice with vitamin A to help the blind is one of the biggest philanthropic harbingers for GM crops. Extra genes are inserted to better produce beta-carotene. As discussed in yesterday's Top 5 GMO Myths Debunked, there are a number of ways to address vision problems of the poor without resorting to forever changing plant ecology.

BBC author Matt McGrath reports that the project to develop this golden rice was in the works 20 years ago with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to German researchers.

Helen Keller International claims that 670,000 can die from vitamin A deficiency caused disease each year and 350,000 will go blind. But, if growing these crops to help with poor people's vision is such a grand idea, why are they being rejected, oftentimes by those very people?

Some 400 Philippines farming protesters had other things in mind for the trial.