A 2012 article in the nutrition literature might have been the most momentous contribution to public health worldwide since Dr. Jonas Salk’s announcement of the polio vaccine. The operative phrase is might have been, because intimidation, politics and the dishonest, anti-science efforts of NGOs to impugn the research have delayed the translation of its findings to life-saving interventions for millions of children. Why do anti-genetic engineering activists want to save the whales but let children go blind and die?
The article, by Professor Guangwen Tang of the Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy and her multinational colleagues, reported a feeding trial in China of a revolutionary, genetically engineered variety of rice, called Golden Rice, which produces β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in its grains. The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient, which causes 250,000 to 500,000 of them to go blind every year. Half die, often from diarrheal diseases or measles, within 12 months of losing their sight.
This ongoing catastrophe is preventable.
The Golden Rice trial attracted the attention of activist NGOs, including Greenpeace, which claimed that children had been used as “guinea pigs” without informed consent. As a result of the ensuing hysteria, Professor Tang was barred from human studies for two years and her paper was retracted! The journal cited minor procedural deficiencies but no safety problems or questions about the study’s conclusions. Their rationale was absurd.
If these actions further delay the regulatory approvals of Golden Rice, the blood of untold numbers of children will be on the hands of the editors of the journal, the Tufts University officials involved, and Greenpeace.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Anti-Golden Rice Activists Want To ‘Save The Whales’ But Let Children Go Blind