Viewpoint: Golden Rice—how ‘stultifying overregulation, fear and hostility’ kept a GMO superfood off the market

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The superfood thus seemed to have everything going for it: It would be the basis for a sea change in public health among the world’s poorest people. It would be cheap to grow and indefinitely sustainable, because low-income farmers could save the seeds from any given harvest and plant them the following season, without purchasing them anew.

Lack of vitamin A is responsible for a million deaths annually, most of them children, plus an additional 500,000 cases of blindness. In Bangladesh, China, India, and elsewhere in Asia, many children subsist on a few bowls of rice a day and almost nothing else. For them, a daily supply of Golden Rice [fortified with beta carotene] could bring the gift of life and sight.

Related article:  Most food flavorings could be made with GMO microbes, sparing large amounts of farmland

But in the 20 years since it was created, Golden Rice has not been made available to those for whom it was intended. So what happened?

For one, Golden Rice is a genetically modified organism, and as such is weighed down with all the political, ideological, and emotional baggage that has come to be associated with GMOs—stultifying government overregulation, fear and hostility, and criticism (much of it unfounded) from environmentalist and other activist organizations …. Greenpeace, for one, was especially vocal in its condemnation of …. Golden Rice in particular.

Read full, original article: The True Story of the Genetically Modified Superfood That Almost Saved Millions

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