Skip to comments.Golden rice refusal kills millions
Posted on 06/10/2014 6:11:40 AM PDT by artichokegrower
A University of California report has exposed the injustice that prohibits a genetically engineered additive to rice. Without it the death of millions of children has occurred, notably in Africa and India.
The researcher opinion lays the blame for the international prohibition of producing golden rice through genetic engineering to powerful forces that hide behind environmentalism. California, of course, is one of the worlds major rice producers, ready to supply the vitamin enriched product, especially for export.
(Excerpt) Read more at westernfarmpress.com ...
Ultimately we need to stop funding third world countries. No money, no food. Socialism doesn’t work. Those in power are living well off of our charity while their subjects perish. The people in these countries at some point must revolt like our founders did, and then there will be no need for golden rice, or any other type of social service.
The selling of GMO rice is all about money.
Monsanto and other transnational corporations seek to open foreign markets for their products to expand their revenues.
This is not about starving children, it is about greedy, liberal American businessmen.
Nations have every right to decide if they wish to accept GMO food.
Vitamin A precursors are found in many many vegetables. Why aren’t they able to grow any of these vegetables there?
My kids love squash. It takes 40-50d to grow a squash plant to maturity. Then it bears for several months. In tropical Africa, they could bear for months and months and months because there aren’t any freezes.
Lots of vegs have vitamin A precursors. Why must they only get it via GMO rice?
Is the problem lack of GMO rice, or political instability? Because GMO rice won’t do anything to help political instability, the same warlords that are stealing the rice now will just steal the new rice.
This is more about marketing than about actually helping people. Yes, golden rice has beta carotene, and yes, the human body can convert beta carotene into vitamin A, but that does not mean that that golden rice will have any significant impact if added to the diet of people who are vitamin A deficient.
See, here’s the thing. A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It doesn’t process or absorb in the absence of fat, and the beta carotene conversion also depends on the presence of fat. That’s why most vegans are A-deficient, even when they are eating plenty of carrots and kale - they’re eating too low-fat a diet for the conversion to happen at any meaningful rate.
Same thing with the poverty-stricken who can afford nothing but rice - their diets are generally very low in healthy animal fats, and their deficiencies in A is driven more by that than by any shortage of beta carotene in their diets.
And for that, there’s no easy fix.
Spending that same money on one cod liver oil capsule/day for these kids would achieve much more. But it wouldn’t line the pockets of someone selling proprietary technology.
You are correct. The two main causes of starvation is government corruption and war, not lack of produce.
Golden rice! Followed by the Golden Rice Famine, when one GMO strain monopolizes and then fails.
The rice with human genes
Human genes engineered into experimental GMO rice being grown in Kansas
So you prefer to permanently medicalize a nutrition problem, line the pockets of the pill manufacturers, and empower an expanding bureaucracy, as opposed to improving the nutritional content of a crop and allowing people to better feed themselves?
Here is a quoted comment from the article’s site:
“This is a very misleading article which attempts to paint any opposition to GMOs as some sort of ‘elitist’ move by a fortunate few...I’ve been working for over 17 years in Malawi, Africa on issues of nutrition and food security, and can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Here in Malawi, Africa we face high levels of nutritional deficiencies including Vitamin A and iron. We also have a nutritional ‘stunting’ rate which affects 47% of the nation’s children under the age of 5. These problems, however, have nothing to do with a lack of access to genetically engineered crops, but rather with an incessant push towards the monocropped production of maize (corn). Despite the potential for year-round and seasonal production of nutritious food crops, many local farmers have been encouraged to sacrifice diversity in favor of a once-a-year harvest of maize. Despite several consecutive years of surplus maize harvests, our malnutrition rates have remained steady. There are literally hundreds of local foods that farmers and families could be utilizing to eliminate nutritional deficiencies, but instead we find the nation’s fields sitting in a state of ‘food deserts’ for 11 months out of the year. Now, as the limited nutritional nature of monocropped agriculture is taking its toll, we find people turning to genetic engineering to try to adapt the world’s plants and animals to very unhealthy and chemical-based systems of production. There is no need, whatsoever, to genetically engineer a nutrient like Vitamin A into plants which it does not naturally occur. Just grow and eat nutritious foods! As we move further and further away from natural solutions, we find nations, like Malawi, setting up expensive—often donor funded—programs to fortify unhealthy foods like cooking oil and sugar with Vitamin A. This is not a sustainable or a healthy approach to good nutrition. Solutions exist, but we need to stop promoting the idea that all the world’s nutrition should come from a limited handful of artificially engineered crops.”
Perhaps you missed my comment about many vegetables, that will grow locally to the problem, being a source of the same nutrient.
And cod liver oil isn’t ‘patentable’. Can be sold by any manufacturer. And, contains the fat necessary to properly absorb the ‘fat soluble’ vitamins. GMO rice is none of these.
If you think the cause of malnutrition in Africa is a lack of GMO rice you’ve never ever stepped foot in Africa. I grew up there.
Good intentions and white rice killed thousands when it was deemed superior to native brown rice. Read the history on modern white rice versus brown rice in Asia.
I’ve been saying this for 30 years. The whole environmental movement is about depopulation... well, ego first. Of course, “they” are superior and deserve to live but the rest of us are definitely disposable.
Could you show us the ‘money trail’ for golden rice?
If they are expanding their revenues so quickly, I would like to purchase the stock.
IIRC the main benefactor here is the Swiss Health Service?
I don’t think so.
IIRC this one is FREE!
So are all the other vitamin A precursor containing veg seeds.
Those can be grown locally. In way way way less time than it takes to grow a crop of rice BTW. Rice is ~120 days from seed to seed. Squash is maybe 50 days. And bears continually after that.
The malnutrition problem in a continent with nearly a 12m growing season temperature range isn’t due to a lack of GMO seeds. The same warlords that are hogging the rice supplies now will just hog the new rice supplies.
Actually, you are correct. The people who back those opposed to GM food are and have long been opposed to the great Norman Borlaug’s “Green Revolution”. They do not just want the death of millions, however, they want the death of billions.
In past they have even proposed poisoning food aid with drugs that induce permanent sterility, or that would slowly kill those who ate the food, perhaps in a similar way to how the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis kills some insects.
B. thuringiensis produces crystals that when ingested breaks down and paralyzes a small part of the digestive tract. When enough of its digestive tract is paralyzed, its host stops eating and starves to death.
However, luckily for billions of human beings, these monsters have never found a bacillus that would do this in humans.
Impatient monsters, one of them (Dr. Eric Pianka) proposed using an airborne ebola to kill nine out of every ten people in the world. If Hell exists, these are the kind of people who belong there.
“Ive been saying this for 30 years. The whole environmental movement is about depopulation... well, ego first. Of course, they are superior and deserve to live but the rest of us are definitely disposable.”
Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
I can remember a Sierra club event 30 years ago talking about how Yosemite Valley would be paradise but for the ‘blight’ of people.
Of course Sierra Club members did not include themselves in the ‘blight’.
Yeah because natural rice, which has been grown for millennia, somehow suddenly cannot grow without screwing around with its DNA.
Pure propaganda right there in the second sentence of the article.
I hate to tell you, but...the same people that are pushing the GMO crops (Gates, Buffet, Soros) are also pushing the radical population control agenda.
Africa, having been derided for having ‘too many people’ by these same ideologues, is beginning to be suspicious of any technologies they bring. Including GMO ones.
Starvation in Africa isn’t due to lack of GMO crops. If you believe that you’ve never been to Africa.
You mean we should stop our government from giving our tax dollars away to impoverished countries so US corporations can sell us tax dollar subsidized grain and food to corrupt governments?
What a novel idea!
“In tropical Africa, they could bear for months and months and months because there arent any freezes.”
Much of Africa has highly alkaline soil so I don’t think your squash would do very well there.
But a large number of children died from malnutrition or were blind because of it in the past.
Now we can do something about that.
It is like putting Iodine in salt. Sure people lived without it. But they also had goiters and retardation at much higher rates too.
I know that many want "those people" to just go away or rise up and destroy their rulers with rocks and sticks. When it doesn't happen the way they wish they try to wrap themselves in a cloak of virtue by saying they are "protecting them"
It is pretty evil when you think about it.
They grow pumpkins where they can. They also eat the leaves and seeds. Where they can being the operant term.
And no, the plant does not bear for months and months.
However it is when you have a set amount of money to spend and you can buy a five kilo bag of rice that will feed your family for a week or five kilos of pumpkin that will feed them for a couple of days you go for the rice.
First world people amuse me at times.
Wrongo. Africa is a humonguous continent. Many different growing areas there. There are an absolutely astounding number of native growing crops that contain beta carotene.
BTW, one of the mainstays of African diets is the yam. Loaded, absolutely loaded, with beta carotene. Our yams and sweet potatoes were originally brought here by African slaves and slave traders very early on in the history of the US.
Rice doesn’t like alkaline soil either, just another BTW. Most crops don’t.
Much of Africa is far too arid for rice to be a reliable crop. Sorghum, teff and maize are grain mainstays there. Those are much more reliable crops if the monsoon is iffy.
And the last thing you want to do, as an African farmer, is be dependent on a supply line for seeds, fertilizer or other crop inputs. It only takes one bout of ‘social and political disruption’ for you to starve with that sort of business setup. And Africa is nothing if not ‘social and political disruption’ on a grand scale.
And, as one of the posters above noted. It isn’t a lack of availability of beta carotene that’s a problem. It’s a lack of dietary fat to allow it to be absorbed and utilized properly.
Somehow, Zimbabwe managed to feed its entire population and have enough to export (and be called the ‘bread basket of Africa’) before the introduction of GMO crops. How was that possible?
I’ve lived in Africa. I grew up there. My pumpkins produce, reliably, for 5+m in this country prior to their being killed by frost. I regularly grow 100+lbs from a single hill.
Rice is imported in Africa. Not grown reliably in much of Africa due to aridity problems. Rice loooooves water. Much of Africa is far too dry for rice to be a reliable crop. The countryside outside the city where we lived was covered with maize fields. And sorghum. Both are drought tolerant. Rice? Not so much...
Therefore, that 5lb bag of rice has to be imported. And, being easy to buy, people stop growing their own food locally. Enter the warlord, supply disruptions, and voila, starvation on a grand scale.
The months and months are relative. You plant a rice seed, it’s at least 120d before you get another edible rice seed. You plant a squash seed, it’s 50d before you get something edible.
Our friends in Central Africa grew a lot of yams. Lots and lots of yams. Which are loaded with beta carotene. The problem in Africa, as stated by a poster above, is not a lack of beta carotene, it’s a lack of dietary fat. Golden rice does nothing to address that issue. Or the political issues which make pretty much any outside meddling in the food supply a moot point.
Wikipedia: "Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa, and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch, and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries."
The local market where we lived was full of yams. 12m out of the year. Yams are grown in much of Africa and don’t require vast resources of water like rice. We ate a lot of yams when we lived there.
Yes, but yams aren’t a cash crop. It’ll feed their kids, but it won’t put money in their pockets.
And that’s the major problem, here.
Each year we spend $$$ pushing nontraditional crops; unsuccessfully all around the globe.
Here in the US, look at the school lunch program! They do not eat it!
Billions spent on EBT cards and it is not rice or squash that is purchased!
Also notice that the big cities are 'food deserts'!
Very difficult to match food to the culture.
The old line is 'you can lead a horse to water; can't make it drink'.
Note: I love squash and grow a few varieties; the stuff is prolific!
Rice is also a non traditional crop in Africa. It’s too dry in Africa to grow rice reliably.
Why is this group pushing rice? Why not splice the same gene into sorghum, which IS grown in much of Africa? And already utilized dietarily as a cooking staple. Ie, the little ladies already know how to prepare that in tasty dishes for their families!
BTW, they do eat squash in Africa. The descendants of Africans in this country eat plenty of squash too judging by the small gardens I pass by every day.
But I have serious questions about the ‘need’ for vitamin A rice in a continent with many many sources of vitamin a precursors in the diet already. particularly a source of vitamin A that can’t be reliably grown in much of the continent and must be imported.
But the question I asked another poster is valid. Zimbabwe grew enough food to feed its own population and export enough more to be called the ‘bread basket of Africa’. Long before the first gene gun was used to splice cross species genes into food crops. How was that possible?
Truly starving Africans would eat squash or anything they could. In bad famines they eat tree bark.
This ‘solution’ does nothing to ‘fix’ Africa’s food reliability problems. In fact, if it utilizes a food that must be imported, it creates more problems long term than it solves. All it takes is one supply line disruption for many many people to simply starve to death. Which, given that the people pushing the GMO agenda are also radical population control wackjobs, may be their desired outcome.
They had farmers that knew what they were doing and owned the land? That redistribution worked out well.
Precisely my point.
The introduction of GMO Seeds won’t ‘fix’ what’s wrong with Africa and its unreliable food supply issues.
It will just introduce another supply line that’s fraught with potential for catastrophic disruption.
An American company creates a method for delivering vitamin A to children through a food product they eat every day -- that currently doesn't provide them with any Vitamin A -- and you call them greedy? This product will save millions of people, mostly children, from blindness and death due to vitamin A deficiency, yet you stand with outfits like Greenpeace who would rather see children die painful deaths than admit they were wrong about the science?
There is a very special place in hell for the Greenpeace culture of death. Only a total moron would support what they are doing.
The absorption and utilization of provitamin A will be impacted by by many factors. The most important consideration is the vitamin A status of the person.
The fat content of rice is low, but it still remains a key source of dietary fats in places where the diet is dependent or rice. The fat content in the rice will be enough to facilitate intestinal beta-carotene uptake. Golden Rice will be a good source of vitamin A for these people if the food Luddites will give it a chance.
Because the yams in the traditional African diets aren’t doing the trick.
Because so much of Africa is arable rice growing land.
Why rice? Why not sorghum or teff. Those are grown in much of Africa.
How have we come to a place where we’re so scared of “chemicals” and “science” that we cannot recognize the good stuff from the bad. I blame government regulation. If you had to pay more attention to your food, you wouldn’t be so stupid.
We’ve traded food liberty for food security and lost our marbles in the process.
Who are the real racists? Little black and brown children can just die.
We’d hate to harm them with vitamin A enriched rice. DDT is too harmful to nothing, so we let children die of malaria. Why don’t we have these kinds of debates in America?
I'm glad you brought up DDT as there are a lot of parallels to the GMO issue. Some moonbat was screaming about countries being allowed to reject GMO food if they want to and allow their citizens, mostly children, to die. The same was said about DDT, and to help the countries suffering from malaria make the desired decision, the culture of death used foreign aid as a tool to force them to refuse DDT and allow their people, mostly children, to die. Greenpeace is no different. They are actively pushing governments to deny Golden Rice to their people, and they are pursuing the farmers and telling them lies about the product to create fear in a population that is woefully uneducated. These people, just like the Rachel Carson acolytes, are evil personified. If they ever gain the power they desire, they will make Stalin look like a piker.
Anyone supporting their cause is not only brain dead, but is destined for the worst possible outcome after their miserable existence on earth is over.
There's not a lot of vitamin A in yams, so maybe GR2 is a better the option.
Uh, because rice is eaten and grown in more than a hundred countries, and it is the staple food for more than 3 billion people. When you look at the caloric intake of these people, rice provides 60%-70% of their total nutrition. These same people also happen to be the most affected by vitamin A deficiency. So, yeah, rice is a logical and exceptional choice. And given the resistance it has met by people who think it's better for their flagrant ignorance to prevail rather than for people to live, it's no wonder these companies aren't rushing to do the same for sorghum, teff, or any other product.
You should be asking that question to a mirror.
How do we reverse the thinking that regulations, heavy ones designed to keep competitors out or harm innovation, aren’t the key to keeping people safe?