Scientific Community Condemns Destruction of Golden Rice

On 8th August 2013, vandals destroyed a Philippine government field trial of Golden Rice (GR).Golden Rice

A petition organised by Dr Channapatna S. Prakash, a professor of plant molecular genetics, explains that…

“As the world’s population continues its increase, sustainable food production is becoming increasingly challenging. More food must be produced in the next 50 years than has been produced since the invention of agriculture. GM crops are a critical resource in accelerating increases in crop productivity in general, as well as in enhancing their nutritional value to treat malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies. In that context, Golden Rice is a critical resource in fighting the devastating consequences of widespread vitamin A deficiency in developing nations.

“Research on Golden Rice at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is part of their humanitarian work to reduce vitamin A deficiency, a serious condition of malnutrition mostly affecting women and children by causing sickness and leading, in many cases, to blindness and premature death of millions each year. According to IRRI, vitamin A deficiency affects more than 15% of children aged 6 months to 5 years and subclinical vitamin A deficiency affects 10% of pregnant women in the Philippines. Golden Rice, when it becomes freely available to farmers as planned, can substantially contribute to the alleviation of this important aspect of malnutrition…

Read more, and sign the petition, here

16 Responses to Scientific Community Condemns Destruction of Golden Rice

  1. Robert August 14, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Those posh vandals need to get down to their local organic store and destroy stocks of Dutch-manipulated carrots. The back-to-purple movement will no doubt sweep the globe once people realise that orange carrots are a heavily exploited mutation, probably chosen for the patriotic colour (if you’re Dutch). There’s a good reason to picket Andrew Bolt!

    Seriously, I’m up for the first bowl of golden rice. I just hope I can get the stuff unpolished, because a little water enriched with some starter of lacto-pickle juice and stored in the fridge is a perfect soaking medium for brown rice. I never chuck my soaking water out, never heat it. It’s a soaking medium, not a cooking medium. I just put it back in the fridge with a top-up of fresh water, being careful to keep the milky muck that sinks to the bottom. Unpolished rice soaked this way in ever-improving “cheesy” water can be steamed in an electric cooker by absorption, just like white rice. It will be tender, will yield its nutrients readily and will not be a hippy or punishment food for posh people. (This is not the soak and sprout process, which is also interesting.) Of course, you need electricity and refrigeration!

    Inner urban Greenpeace bwanas, who condemn GM, probably munch on hard pellets of organic Fair Trade “heritage” brown rice and imagine they are doing some good. Tossers.

  2. Neville August 14, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    This sort of vandalism happens all over the world and are always carried out by clueless leftwing green loonies.
    Just a few years ago we had an experimental wheat crop destroyed near Canberra. Because the end result of these actions are so serious they should result in very stiff prison sentences for these extremists.
    Perhaps more money and time should be spent on guarding these experimental plots to ensure the continuation of these valuable, life saving experiments.

  3. Robert August 14, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Yep, many deaths and blindness cases can be avoided. Also, there have been major concessions to small growers in developing countries, including full rights on seed saving. Perhaps we could move the field trials to Singapore and see how daring the vandals are in a country which treats its public assets and infrastructure as if they were the shared personal possessions of all users, rich or poor.

  4. John Sayers August 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    I’m concerned whether the Vit A is a true Vitamin A. Most commercial vitamin pills are synthetic vitamins and do not advantage the consumer, in fact they can have side effects, such as kidney damage.

    Vitamins are made up of several different components – enzymes, co-enzymes, and co-factors– that must work together to produce their intended biologic effects. Vitamins that are found naturally in whole foods come with all of their necessary components.

    Are all the required components in this new rice?

    A very high source of Vit A is simple orange sweet potato. Surely producing sweet potato for these asians and encouraging it’s consumption would have the same effect and at less cost.

    I’ve found Asians in general to very discerning about the rice they eat, it’s their staple – I doubt that this new yellow variety will be welcomed by those who need it the most.

  5. Robert August 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    John, it’s something different which may catch on and may have benefits. Of course I see your point about possible market rejection and failure. (I love the look of black “forbidden” rice but it’s the only rice I refuse to eat. Gawd, that’s dreary stuff, at least in its “healthy” non-sticky variation. But it actually has a traditional market and we now grow it in Oz.)

    There’s quite a history of now familiar foods being promoted by government and encouraged by subsidy. Tomatoes in Europe had quite a turbulent time and went through fast genetic changes. They started in Italy as dangerous decoratives. Who’d be without that lycopene now?

    I don’t mind this sort of promo and subsidy, not being a market purist or right-winger. Of course, Golden Rice is a punt, but it’s a punt with a purpose. What I do hope is that Golden Rice is eaten…not made into petrol for Prince Charles’ Aston Martin.

    You could be right of course. You often are.

  6. handjive August 15, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Going slightly O/T:

    This comment has been deleted from this thread and moved to the ‘Open Thread’.

  7. Aldo Bertozzi August 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Please read the following paper from a scientist who was involved in developing of Golden Rice.

    Golden Rice and Beyond
    Ingo Potrykus
    + Author Affiliations
    1 Institute of Plant Sciences Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Center, LFW E 53.1 CH–8092 Zurich Switzerland
    doi: http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1104/​pp.​125.​3.​1157 Plant Physiology March 2001 vol. 125 no. 3 1157-1161

    regards AB

  8. Rob JM August 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    John Sayers,
    Vitamin A is basically used as a light detecting chemical in the retina. Don’t confuse it with the B vitamins the act together in energy producing pathways.
    It is also extremely abundant in its non toxic pro vitamin form in orange plant pigments with most pills being derived from these or fish extracts.
    Its only the poorest of the poor that have Vitamin A deficiency and they only need a small amount to be healthy.

    The anti GM movement in the Philippines is more likely being driven by religious factions than greenies also!

  9. papertiger August 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    What did they have signs posted? Keep out! Experimental franken rice field ahead>

    If you are worried about hippy Gaia vandals breaking into your farm, pick a plot away from the bus line, and don’t tell anybody it’s special super secret rice.

  10. Jennifer August 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    More on the attack….

  11. Robert August 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Greenpeace and a bunch of commies protecting us from imperialism in a the form of a giveaway rice. Gawd. Where are those French saboteurs when you need them?

  12. Ross August 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    If this is Monsanto Golden Rice forget it. Monsanto’s aim is to make every farmer on the planet slave to their sterile crops.

  13. papiertigre August 25, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    While questions remain as to who paid the activists who conducted the attack, it is clear that what would seem to fit the definition of an act of eco-terrorism, was incited by international NGOs including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Food First. These and other groups have worked together to conduct a mis and disinformation campaign against golden rice and other GMO foods labeling them dangerous “frankenfoods.”

    That’s Jen’s link. I didn’t find it.

    But look at the overlap. These are the same AGW loving swamp rats we are usually trying to keep out of the pantry, using the very same tactics they accuse us of.

    That’s a good catch Jen. I didn’t realize at first.

  14. handjive August 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Late contribution from Walter Russell Mead’s Blog:

    August 26, 2013
    Golden Rice, Green Idiocy

  15. John Sayers August 30, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    handjive – a quote from your link:

    (Golden rice is being developed by a non-profit organization, not Monsanto.) As the Philippine government prepares to rule on whether or not to allow farmers to grow the wonder-crop, the anti-GMO movement is digging itself in for a fight.

    “Terms of the humanitarian license agreement
    The Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, although not a legal entity, provides a forum for discussion of strategic and tactical issues relating to the humanitarian project. Both Potrykus and Beyer have the right to issue licenses. Two licensees also have that right, as does Syngenta, which has not exercised its right. All the licenses are in the same form, as proposed by Syngenta and agreed to by the inventors.”

    Syngenta, a multinational Swiss pharmaceutical company that makes and distributes major medicines. My heart pills are made by a subsidiary, Novartis. It’s as big as Monsanto but in the pharmaceutical industry.

  16. spangled drongo August 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    A little background into Monsanto:

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