Golden Rice Banned Near Its Silver Anniversary

Monday, April 29, 2024

Over the weekend, I learned from science advocate Kevin Folta's X feed that Greenpeace has won a battle in its long-running crusade against golden rice. Folta points to an article about this crime against humanity in Reason magazine:

Golden rice could help prevent childhood blindness, illness, and death, but Greenpeace has campaigned to ban it for a quarter of a century. (Image by the International Rice Research Institute, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
Greenpeace and other anti-biotech activist groups have logged a win in a crusade that could ultimately blind and kill thousands of children annually. How? By persuading the Court of Appeals of the Philippines to issue a scientifically ignorant and morally hideous decision to ban the planting of vitamin A-enriched golden rice. The objective result will be more children blinded and killed by vitamin A deficiency.

The World Health Organization estimates that 250,000-500,000 children who are vitamin A-deficient become blind every year, and half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight. In addition, children with immune systems weakened by vitamin A deficiency have an increased risk of illness and death from infectious diseases.

The court also banned the planting of an eggplant variety that has been biotech-enhanced to resist insect pests. The same variety approved by Bangladeshi regulators has reduced pesticide usage and improved farmers' yields by more than 50 percent. [links omitted, bold added]
In a 2007 blog post titled "What Ever Happened to 'Golden Rice'?," one can easily learn that this revolutionary invention was being lauded in 2000, and yet, seven years later, optimists thought it would take another six years or so before it would hit the market.

Indeed, it wasn't until 2021 that regulators approved planting it in the Philippines!

And now? Less than three years later, that approval has been revoked.

Folta notes, "A 'crime against humanity' is defined as a deliberate act, typically as part of a systematic campaign, that causes human suffering or death on a large scale."

This campaign -- of about a quarter century now! -- by Greenpeace certainly fits that description.

Rather than celebrating the silver anniversary of a great invention, we are seeing the disgusting spectacle of Greenpeace successfully keeping it from helping poor children for almost that entire amount of time.

-- CAV

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