I want more than just having Golden Rice — I want it to be widely available to people who eat rice as a staple food. And I want to see the results of that consumption in the decrease in the number of children worldwide who go blind because of vitamin A deficiency.
…[V]itamin A deficiency causes not only blindness, but also increased susceptibility to infectious diseases because of its impact on the immune system. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, and although excess doses of vitamin A can be damaging, there has been no toxicity associated with beta-carotene.
According to UNICEF, in 2013, vitamin A deficiency was a widespread public health problem — in sub-Saharan Africa it affected nearly half of children between the ages of 6 to 59 months, and in South Asia, about 44 percent of such children were deemed deficient. But, the agency reported, by 2015 only 70 percent of targeted children were reached with vitamin A supplementation.
Yet anti-GMO activists such as Greenpeace have railed against the use of this life-saving product of genetic engineering, although we’ve never heard them complain about using genetically engineered insulin to treat diabetes. Obviously, they pick their targets carefully.
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