Check this out: We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It. Read that as: “A bunch of well-meaning but ill-informed knuckleheads are responsible for the deaths of thousands of children.” Excerpt:
Food: everybody needs it, and many are fortunate enough to have enough, even too much of it. Food is a highly emotional subject on every continent and in every culture. For a healthy life our food has to provide energy, as well as, in very small amounts, minerals and vitamins. A varied diet, easily achieved and common in industrialised countries, provides everything.
But poor people in countries where rice is grown often eat little else. White rice only provides energy: no minerals or vitamins. And the lack of one of the vitamins, vitamin A, is responsible for killing around 4,500 poor children every day. Lack of vitamin A is the biggest killer of children, and also the main cause of irreversible childhood blindness.
Our project is about fixing this one dietary deficiency – vitamin A – in this one crop – rice – for this one group of people. It is a huge group though: half of the world’s population live by eating a lot of rice every day. Two of us (PB & IP) figured out how to make rice produce a source of vitamin A, and the rice becomes a golden color instead of white. The source is beta-carotene, which the human body converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is what makes carrots orange. Our rice is called “Golden Rice.”
Here’s the frustrating bit:
The anti-GMO crop campaigns, and especially anti-Golden Rice campaigns, have been extraordinarily effective. If so much regulation by governments is required, surely there must be something to be suspicious about: ‘There is no smoke without fire’. The suspicion pervades research institutions and universities, the publishers of scientific journals and The World Health Organisation, and UNICEF: even the most scientifically literate are fearful of entanglement in activist-stoked public controversy.
The equivalent of 13 jumbo jets full of children crashes into the ground every day and kills them all, because of VAD. Yet the solution of Golden Rice, developed by national scientists in the counties where (Vitamin A deficiency) VAD is endemic, is ignored because of fear of controversy, and because poor children’s deaths can be ignored without controversy.
The entire anti-GMO hysteria is as one with anti-vaxxers and chemtrails kooks – it has no basis in fact.
The fact is, humans have been genetically modifying food crops for thousands of years; only the techniques have changed, from selective breeding and hybridization to direct genetic editing. The fact is, golden rice has been proven safe. The fact is, thousands would lead better-fed, healthier and happier lives if the idiot anti-GMO nuts in the WHO and UNICEF would just back the hell off.
But hey. These are just poor brown people, right? Isn’t that the argument the left uses to make proponents of free markets look heartless? You know, the kind of free market economies that develop innovative products like golden rice?