Since their introduction into commercial production over 17 years ago, GM crops have become the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in the history of mankind, precisely because they provide large benefits to consumers, farmers and the environment. These crops have an exemplary safety record, making them the safest agricultural technology ever deployed. They have already helped to ameliorate many of the kinds of damage caused by traditional agriculture and reduce contamination of corn with fungal toxins. Not a single one of the many claims of negative health or environmental effects uniquely made against GM crops has withstood scientific scrutiny.The best thing you can call those who destroyed this trial is "luddite". I myself wouldn't use that best term.
Regulatory systems around the world mandate the thorough testing of new GM crops to ensure that there are no unintended, harmful effects either from their cultivation or their consumption. These are the kinds of controlled tests that IRRI and the Philippine Department of Agriculture are conducting with Golden Rice. A few days ago, a field test was maliciously destroyed.
New technologies often evoke fears that they are dangerous. Destroying a new technology based on such fears without testing its safety and efficacy can deprive humanity of a very valuable and much-needed advance. In this case, many more millions will needlessly suffer blindness and death because Golden Rice was not available to them. No group, regardless of its intentions, has the right to condemn a technology without evidence. It is an unconscionable criminal act to destroy a field trial conducted in accordance to international safety norms.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Let The Kids Go Blind
Vandals (probably activists) destroyed a trial of Golden Rice in the Philippines. Golden Rice is rice that has been genetically modified to have more Vitamin A. Since rice is prevalent in the diets of so many of the world's poor and malnourished, the distribution of Golden Rice, with its Vitamin A, could prevent blindness in hundreds of thousands of innocent children in the world each year. To some people, though, its provenance is all the excuse they need consign those children to darkness. Facts don't matter to crazies: