Life-Saving Golden Rice Finally Gets to Poor Farmers Despite Environmentalist Opposition

From Reason

Bangladesh announces that it will allow its farmers to plant this genetically improved crop

Ronald Bailey|Mar. 7, 2019 5:55 pm


Golden Rice which has been genetically engineered to have higher levels of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene is finally about be to approved for planting by poor farmers in Bangladesh. This a big step toward improving the health of some of the poorest people on the planet. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in between 250,000 and 500,000 children each year, half of whom die within 12 months, according to the World Health Organization. A study by German researchers in 2014 estimated that activist opposition to the deployment of Golden Rice has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in just India alone.

Environmentalist ideologues have fought fiercely for two decades to prevent this crop from being offered to poor farmers in developing countries. Among other things, they hired thugs to rip up test fields of the grain at the International Rice Research Institute in the Phillippines.

In 2016, an open letter signed by 100 Nobel Laureates directly called on “Greenpeace to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general.” The laureates pointed out that “scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.”

“A committee of the Ministry of Environment will give the clearance for the production of Golden rice. We will be able to start cultivation of the rice in Bangladesh within two-three months upon getting ministry clearance,” told Bangladeshi Agriculture Minister Abdur Razza to the Dhaka Tribune. He noted, “Golden rice is more important than the other varieties of rice as it will be helpful to fight the vitamin A deficiency.”

Sadly, local activists spurred on by international groups are still trying to stop farmers from growing this beneficial crop. One tactic is to spread lies claiming that an eggplant variety genetically engineered to resist insect pests (Bt) approved by the Bangladeshi government in 2013 has not resulted in promised benefits.

In fact, a 2018 study published in Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Research reported that the biotech varieties boosted yield by about 10 percent. But more signficantly, the biotech crops dramatically lowered their costs of production while increasing their incomes. Net returns per hectare were $2,150 for Bt eggplant as compared to $360 for non-Bt eggplant. Pesticides were applied 11 times to Bt eggplant where as it was 41 times to non-Bt eggplant for controlling sucking pests. The Bt eggplant farmers saved 61 percent of the pesticide cost compared to non-Bt eggplant farmers, experienced no losses due to fruit and shoot borer, and received higher net returns.

Read the full story here:

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Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 2:06 am

Funny that – this good news that will save thousands of lives never got so much as a mention on the disgraceful BBC and its fake climate shining. No wonder it is increasingly held in open contempt by people who once admired the now deceitful Corporation.

Bill in Oz
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 2:14 am

The British Bulldust Corporation

Reply to  Bill in Oz
March 9, 2019 2:50 am

…..Or Bull wash Corporation, promoters of Marionette Sycophant propaganda Memes

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 2:22 am

Moderately Cross of East Anglia


Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 2:26 am

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

I’ll repeat a post I submitted to ‘The Conservative Woman’ blog a few minutes ago on the topic of the BBC’s outrageous Brexit bias. Our American cousins will doubtless appreciate it:

We have one thing to thank the BBC for, their bad judgement and incompetence.

Yes folks, really.

The moment Obama uttered the immortal term “Back of the queue” the BBC enthusiastically pounced on, and broadcast it at every opportunity. It was the moment support for remain ‘crashed’ (yes, Brexiters turn to use that term) and that for Brexit increased so much that within two or three weeks the polls were reversed.

Way to go BBC!

Mike Bryant
Reply to  HotScot
March 9, 2019 4:28 am

If the BBC would report all the news Great Britain would be great again.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mike Bryant
March 9, 2019 6:19 am

Great Britain has nothing to do with being great. The island of “Great Britain” was the largest island in a province of France called Brittany.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 9, 2019 7:45 am

Apparently your sense of humor has nothing to do with what you write, either.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 9, 2019 11:06 pm

Yeah, historical facts are boring. C’est la vie!

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 10:37 am

The BBC has an apparent policy of not admitting being wrong unless severely pushed by the left wing. They spout leftidt nonsense which kills in Bangladesh = never gonna admit their fake news.

Golden rice saves more lifes than any UK renewable policy. Just read my lips: BBC is the fake news.

(not that RT would be better, just different.)

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 10:40 am

Just to check, are k1lls and morders verboten words? Not that I’d call for those.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 9, 2019 10:58 am

Ah, but the pouring of fake blood over the cobbles of 10 Downing street was covered, representing the deaths of all those children from climate change. Does fake blood represent a fake claim? Did I miss the news of schools inundated by sea level rise, or daycares carried off in twisters? Imagine the hypocrisy it takes for these zealots to protest imaginary disasters (computer modelled, no doubt) while they continue to oppose pesticide use and improvements to agriculture and electrical grids that would save thousands, perhaps millions of lives in impoverished countries.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 10, 2019 4:20 pm

Green opposition to golden rice is more evidence that radical Greens (really radical leftists) are the great killers of our time. Now the Greens are blinding and killing babies by opposing golden rice, a means to prevent Vitamin A deficiency. High-fives all around.

I seriously question the motives of the entire cabal of socialists, Greens, global warming alarmists (aka warmists) etc. Their history is horrific and reprehensible.

It is clearly NOT about the environment or the well-being of humanity – almost everything they have done is anti-human AND anti-environmental.

In the 20th Century, socialists Stalin, Hitler and Mao caused the deaths of over 200 million people, mostly their own citizens. Lesser killers like Pol Pot and the many tin-pot dictators of South America and Africa killed and destroyed the lives of many more. Not all these people were murdered by psychopathic tyrants – many deaths in the FSU and China were caused by starvation and deprivation, due to the false agricultural science called Lysenkoism.

Modern Green Death probably started with the 1972-2002 effective ban of DDT, which caused global deaths from malaria to increase from about 1 million to almost two million per year. Most of these deaths were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa – just babies for God’s sake!

Warmists can take credit for food-for-fuels hunger, the clear-cutting of the rainforest to grow sugar cane for fuel ethanol and palm oil for biodiesel, the rapid draining of the vital Ogallala aquifer for corn ethanol and biodiesel, bird-and-bat-chopping wind turbines, runaway energy costs and reduced grid reliability, increased winter mortality and similar social and environmental disasters.

The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban.

Read Dr. Patrick Moore’s essay, “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement”, written in 1994, especially “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”

Patrick observed that Eco-extremism is the new “false-front” for political Marxists, who were discredited after the fall of the Soviet Union circa 1990 and took over the Green movement to further their political objectives. I have corresponded with Patrick on this essay and we both agree that he “nailed it”.

March 9, 2019 2:26 am

Likewise here in Australia the pubic broadcaster never mentioned it.

Its clear ht the Green Party, , i.e. the top people, do not want any progress of any sort, until their Dream of a back to 1700 or so is finally realised.

The bad aspect is that the General public do not see the Green movement in this way, they appear to see it as a ” Caring for Nature”, rather than a back to nature as in the past.


Reply to  Michael
March 9, 2019 4:35 am

Back to pre-1783, as Hitler , a true green, said. Americans are slowly realizing what AOC’s nuttiness implies – no more USA.

Doug Huffman
March 9, 2019 2:48 am

I read the original at little, AND the comments. What septic comments by MiserableUsers®

March 9, 2019 2:48 am

Can you imagine the hysteria in the US, the UK or Europe if 500,000 children a year were dying from vitamin A deficiency?

Nor is that figure entirely accurate according to Patrick Moore, an enthusiastic supporter of Golden Rice. There are around the same number of adults similarly afflicted, dying from the same causes.

It’s also interesting to note that, according to Patrick, (and contrary to the Greenpeace contention that predatory western corporations are profiting form selling both the seed, and the permission to use the technology to poverty stricken farmers at vast profit) Golden Rice is an affordable and viable alternative to white rice.

Evidently the inventors of Golden Rice have freely donated their IP to the cause of poverty reduction and increased health outcomes. The corporation producing the seed (I believe Monsanto but not sure) sells the seed at cost price to farmers with an annual turnover of less than $10,000, in other words the vast majority of subsistence farmers. The cost of seed is therefore equivalent to conventional white rice.

March 9, 2019 3:15 am

the quoted numbers of blind/dead are from what Ive read..a lot like the supposed Flu deaths numbers and others
guesstimated/extrapolated not factual
like the warmist claims on extinctions etc really.
once again its NOT the lack of golden rice or corn thts the damned issue
if they cant buy a mango or any other veg with carotene- and thats all it takes- a few mouthfuls of any fruit or veg naturally existing in their areas..
then how will they be able to buy rice?
and the claims of actual Vit A after production storage and cooking- versus testing done and results published- would appear to make it hardly worth the effort.
no seed of any type that wont breed true/is patented/costs far more than alternatives. is worthwile to a farmer in any longterm.
heritage zone adapted seeds make far more sense and save money.
big PHarmer and big aggri hold too much power and conrol already

oh and PS the claim of no human or animal harm from GMO?
starlink corn got into human food in usa
people were ill.
funny that one was ANIMAL feed only?
obviously it DID have issues differing form normal corn
and animals guts seem to tell a tale of ulcers etc
a 30day feed trial is in no way long enough to prove safety!
and thats what the systems rigged to.
and not one human trial has ever been done.
once again; to gain a patent the object must be new novel and unlike standard
yet they “created “subsantial equivalence” to push the idea the patented seed is magically the same as non GMO when they want to flog it into human food chain..
if the supposedly much more accurate CRISPR9 tech is admittedly NOT so perfect and genes are wandering
then the far less precise moveable dna in spliced genes is less relaibly safe also.

the entire GMO scam is just another created need on a product no one but those who want to gain power and money benefit from.
just like Co2 warmist bunkum

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 9, 2019 3:44 am

Badly checked, shallow comment.
Maize is from the get-go a GM product from ancient Inca Indians. Not self-propagating – likely they did not tell the Spanish about that. The carved cobs in ancient Granada granaries predate Columbus.
The only problem with GM is the trick of patenting seeds forcing poor farmers to re-purchase.
Monsanto/Bayer went so far as to patent life, which they certainly produced in the lab. Borlaug’s Green Revolution made Ehrlich and other insane Malthusians look like kooks.

Tom Halla
Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 9, 2019 5:58 am

The purported effects of GMO corn were just that, purported. The anti-GMO movement is run by the organic foods industry, which is a movement dating back to the mindset that gave rise to the NSDAP. Biodynamic agriculture, which is what the Germans called it, was very much favored by the then German government, and is about as unscientific as most other hobbyhorses they favored, from eugenics to dowsing.
Using landrace grains has such poor relative yield that using hybrid seed became very common well before any introduction of GMO traits.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 9, 2019 6:38 am

“Tom Halla March 9, 2019 at 5:58 am

organic foods industry”

Organic was promoted and marketed by the USDA through multiple state extension services back in the early 1970s.
The presentation, I attended was given by Pennsylvania State Agriculture Extension service at a county meeting of small growers. They presented a USDA publication promoting the “Organic” designation.
These publications were still accessible around year 2000. Shortly after the millenium most USDA publications prior to the 1990s vanished from easy access.

The whole intent of using “Organic” was to enable small growers to charge higher prices for specialty crops. i.e. it was a boost small farms concept to cash in on the 1960s- 1970s increased desire for specialty healthy foods.

Not that it helped small growers much at the time. Small farms frequently went bankrupt.
It wasn’t until large growers, distributors and grocery chains began pushing “organic foods” that organic foods went mainstream, at higher cost.

USDA’s Food Nutrition database does not identify any organic foods as superior and very few as uniquely different in nutrition.

The term “Organic” was initialized as a marketing term to enable charging more for the exact same product and is still, for all purposes, just a marketing term.

Big T
Reply to  ATheoK
March 9, 2019 7:00 am

Very good article, I very much agree.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 9, 2019 6:03 am

“ozspeaksup March 9, 2019 at 3:15 am
the quoted numbers of blind/dead are from what Ive read..a lot like the supposed Flu deaths numbers and others guesstimated/extrapolated not factual”

On one hand you dismiss numbers of influenza illnesses and victims, where reports are based on medical reporting.

“ozspeaksup March 9, 2019 at 3:15 am
oh and PS the claim of no human or animal harm from GMO? starlink corn got into human food in usa people were ill. funny that one was ANIMAL feed only? obviously it DID have issues differing form normal corn and animals guts seem to tell a tale of ulcers etc a 30day feed trial is in no way long enough to prove safety!”

While on the other hand, you rail against products while using rumors and innuendo.

The FDA received approximately 34 reports of adverse reaction to corn products which may contain StarLink. Of the 34 reports, 20 were very unlikely a result of an allergenic reaction. The U.S. Center investigated 7 people who experienced symptoms that are consistent with an allergenic reaction. The people showed no reaction to the Cry9C protein. ”

That is a sum total. Human harm, zero!

No substantiated allergenicity in humans to GM food or food ingredient with over 20 years of exposure

This after over twenty years of GMO trials and tests.

Starlink corn was an example of unapproved foodstuff escaping control during the test phase.
The USA government caused immediate recalls and sought to purchase contaminated corn. Not because of illness, but because the corn was still unapproved for human consumption!

“ozspeaksup March 9, 2019 at 3:15 am
a 30day feed trial is in no way long enough to prove safety! and thats what the systems rigged to. ”

Pure hokum.
A) There is no such thing as a ’30 day field trial’!
B) Most crop field trials run over years; with a multitude of “Field Test” reports submitted to BRS, ( Biotechnology Regulatory Services).

Government agencies work by analysis paralysis. Nothing is rigged to end before every involved government department and official has analyzed and approved field test reports.

Government agencies involved in approving GMO plant products?
1) U. S. Department of Agriculture;
2) Environmental Protection Agency; Which is an agency contra to advancing technology as their first duty, it is the EPA.
3) Any plant product that ends up in human foodstuff, directly or indirectly it is governed by the Food and Drug Agency.

It is decidedly not easy or predetermined to pass muster in this process. Human trials as you call them are the domain of Food and Drug Agency and subject to severe constraints.

“ozspeaksup March 9, 2019 at 3:15 am
once again; to gain a patent the object must be new novel and unlike standard ”

Utter nonsense!
You are an amazing fount of irresponsible claims and fallacies on this topic.

What is a plant patent?
A plant patent is granted by the United States government to an inventor (or the inventor’s heirs or assigns) who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

Cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, or transformed plants, where sports or mutants may be spontaneous or induced, and hybrids may be natural, from a planned breeding program, or somatic in source. While natural plant mutants might have naturally occurred, they must have been discovered in a cultivated area. ”

No such thing as “subsantial{sic} equivalence”. Your claim of “push the idea the patented seed is magically the same as non GMO when they want to flog it into human food chain.” is nonsense as stated.
Plant Patents are solely to protect an inventor’s product rights. They provide zero approval for sale or uses in agriculture, food production or sales.

Pay very close attention to “Cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, or transformed plants, where sports or mutants may be spontaneous or induced”!
Mutated foods are central to most human crops!
Without the advantages of mutated foods, Earth population would never have progressed very far.

The line between GMO and most food crops is nonexistent. All “non-GMO” actually means is that specific gene-spliced foods are shunned. Forced breeding that accomplishes the same result is ignored.

Cross-breeding to utilize desired traits requires breeding between genetically close organisms. Gene-splicing allows skipping many thousands of natural breeding cycles where researchers attempt to breed desired traits from one plant family through genetic trees and finally into the targeted crop. e.g. trying to breed natural pyrethrins from chrysanthemums or daisies across many plant families into corn, tomatoes, etc.

Mankind’s selectively bred plant and animal mutations enabled mankind’s progress over many millennia. Each major advance whether plant or animal mutation enabled major advances in civilization.

Anti-GMO activists, if they are sincerely anti-GMO should cease eating all mutated plants and animals; i.e. corn, wheat, rice, brassica family, sheep, cattle, chickens, salmon, tomatoes, chiles, beans, peas, squash, etc.

To truly avoid genetically modified foods, they should harvest and grow original wild cultivars.
People would quickly discover that where modern use of mutations provides, as an example, thousands of bushels per harvest, unmutated wild cultivars provide tens of bushels for the same amount of land and effort.

The only true identifying difference between natural or human manipulated food mutations and genetically spliced foods is that gene-splicers can provide specific genetic identification for their modifications.

Big T
Reply to  ATheoK
March 9, 2019 7:02 am

A very good and honest read!

Reply to  ATheoK
March 9, 2019 8:26 am

“The FDA received approximately 34 reports of adverse reaction to corn products”

Out of the 10’s to 100’s of thousands exposed, only 34 reported a reaction?
Most likely psychosomatic and or individuals hoping to lay ground work for a suit.

Reply to  ATheoK
March 9, 2019 11:55 am

ATheoK – Excellent rebuttal!

Matthew Drobnick
Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 9, 2019 7:30 am

Oz, don’t bother. These folks here have blind Faith to big corporations just like leftists do to bug government. They are literally no different. They see the science they want to reinforce their belief, which is that no such thing as conspiracy exists despite will established disgusting conspiracies such as the Bay of Tonkin and operation Northwoods.

No, nothing to see here. Big Ag, big Pharma.. They love and care for us.

They are just as selective in their bias, but in the opposite direction from leftists. Just be glad they get the climate situation correct, at least that’s something.

Low consciousness abounds on the right

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
March 9, 2019 8:31 am

“Bug government”. I like that.

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
March 9, 2019 8:32 am

How typical, anyone who isn’t as paranoid as you, is just a tool.
Every single one of your ludicrous claims has been thoroughly debunked, but like most paranoids, you just don’t care.
Your desperate need to believe that you are superior to everyone else because you have seen what others can’t is your cross to bear.

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
March 9, 2019 10:49 am

Lollers. Being afraid of GMO was fashionable about some decades ago. It never had any logic in it.

Big green as in Greenpeace is bigger and more harmful than plant developers. Dying to malnutrition of course doesn’t make a dent of WWF and freinds. Yet they are often to blame.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
March 10, 2019 10:00 am

One of the common traits of most of the regulars here is a natural scepticism; they tend to doubt claims made from authority and evaluate the evidence themselves, often spending many hours researching the subject. So your claims that the “folks here” are blindly faithful to “big corporations” fails on its face, which is obvious to anybody that spends a lot of time here.

You and Oz seem to think that corporations can do whatever they want and easily push unsafe products out onto the consumer with impunity. From my experience, this is completely wrong. I have worked for two of the largest medical device manufacturers in the world, which were regulated by the FDA. The two biggest fears they had was”
1. Being sued out of existence (like Dow Corning)
2. Being shut down by the FDA (even a temporary shutdown could be crippling)
These two things put enormous back pressure on the development of new products. These companies are so risk averse that it permeates every aspect of their corporate culture. For example, in one company I worked for, they delayed for years the conversion to a new word processor used for for internal documentation even though the current product was no longer being actively developed (making it actively dead). Eventually they did switch to Microsoft Word when support was dropped altogether, but there was no reason for the years long delay except for fear of any kind of change.

Now don’t get me wrong; this risk aversion was healthy in some areas of the corporation, so I’m not arguing against that per se. In fact, I rather see such companies err on the side of caution (risk aversion). The point I am trying to make is that they are anything from caviler when it comes to the safety and efficacy of their products, which face huge internal and external hurdles before they reach the consumer. The system is certainly not perfect, but it’s not porous either, as you imply. As difficult as it is for medical device manufacturers, having to deal with one government agency (the FDA), I can’t imagine how much more difficult it is for those that have to deal with three.

But maybe you have extensive work experience in a heavily regulated field (like Medical, AG, or Pharma) that is in direct contrast to mine. If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 9, 2019 8:22 am

Subsistence farmers rarely have the money to buy extra food for their family. So your claim that all they need to do is buy some expensive fruit is highly insensitive.
As to your claim of people being hurt by starlink corn. Utter bullshit. You are willing to accept as truth any lie, so long as it supports what you want to believe.

March 9, 2019 4:01 am

How is this an environmental issue? A link said it would compete with other strains of rice but nothing explains how it is detrimental to the environment. If it’s not as nutritious as claimed then it’s a health issue. If it competes with other agricultural products it’s an economic issue. Or are the econuts just bored.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  cerescokid
March 9, 2019 10:05 am

I find it illogical that people fall so definitively on one side of this debate or the other. The entire spectrum of genetic modifications should neither be wholly condemn nor wholly embraced. Clearly not all genetic modifications are good, and likewise, not all genetic modifications are bad. I personally would eat rice fortified with vitamin A, but I have second thoughts about eating vegetables genetically modified to produce natural poisons (insecticides). This is despite the fact that I’ve probably ingested more insecticide as residue sprayed on fruits and vegetables than I could ever be exposed to by eating genetically engineered crops.

Each GM should be evaluated independently, and accepted or rejected based on it’s pros and cons.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
March 9, 2019 10:50 am

Good point. But the balance is false.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
March 9, 2019 5:54 pm

Actual science has examined said vegetables and concluded they are not harmful.

All plants produce insecticides. Always have, always will. It’s part of the ongoing chemical warfare being conducted between plants and things that eat plants ever since the first herbivore started munching on it’s first plant.

Joanie B.
Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
March 10, 2019 7:57 am

Exactly. Well stated, Louis. GMOS are not inherently good or bad, it is a method, not a result.

Les Francis
March 9, 2019 4:20 am

Having lived in third world Asian countries.

The poorer people will eat the best tasting cheapest rice available.

This “activated with vitamin” rice has been tried before going back decades.

Rice farmers will plant the crop which gives them the biggest profit – they don’t give a hoot for any fancy stuff that will not put more weight in their purse.

I’ve lived in areas where 3 – 4 crops a year in volcanic soil has been achievable. I’ve also lived in areas where the soul is so poor that slash and burn will produce one crop per year every 4 – 5 years.

Unless this genetically engineered rice crop is heavily government subsidised little of it will be propagated.

I’m living back in western country but we still go through a 30 kg gunny of imported Jasmine rice every two months.
Do we eat the locally produced chemically treated white rice which clags up after cooking – no way.

Curious George
Reply to  Les Francis
March 9, 2019 7:37 am

Do you live in the only country that treats rice chemically?

Reply to  Curious George
March 10, 2019 3:03 am

If you were poor and starving, oh to have a clogging rice problem 🙂

Richard Patton
Reply to  Les Francis
March 9, 2019 4:56 pm

My ‘locally produced…’ rice doesn’t clog up. But I don’t follow the directions. I use 3/4 of the water recommended for cooking and I don’t get sticky rice. Sticky rice is for those who use chopsticks.

March 9, 2019 4:46 am

You would think the greenies would be all for rice that resists bugs and therefore doesn’t need insecticide.

For the greenies, a potential environmental disaster is every bit as dangerous as a real environmental disaster, and they have really good imaginations.

Ric Haldane
March 9, 2019 4:52 am

Golden Rice may have many health benefits but it comes with two serious drawbacks. Seed must be purchased for each planting and there will be less rice per acre. How many farmers will will want to grow a less prolific crop? The Philippine Rice Research Institute has been experimenting with Golden Rice for a while mow.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
March 9, 2019 5:29 am

So you are saying poor farmers WANT blind/dead children. Money is all that counts? Maybe you’re right or maybe you just depise the human race….

Curious George
Reply to  Sheri
March 9, 2019 7:39 am

Let’s remove this dilemma – simply ban the golden rice.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Sheri
March 9, 2019 7:59 am

Sheri, talk about a knee jerk reaction. I don’t know where you live but your knowledge of world poverty is very, very small. I submit an example of the Philippines. The Philippine government has an agency that controls the quantity and price of rice. The price is kept low as it is a staple food and for many the only food they can afford, often one bowl a day. As the price is kept low, growing rice does not return much profit. Much rice is imported from Thailand and sold for less than purchase price. The poverty is so bad that many people do not travel and have no idea what is happening in towns 30 miles a way much less the diatary needs of others in the country. So yes, growing rice is leads to a very marginal existance. Yes there is a very large need for more vitamin A in peoples diets. Is the answer Golden Rice? Not looking so good. You should talk your big heart to the Philippines and convence some farmers that they should pay more for seed and produce a smaller crops for the good of others. If you do convence some, you had better hire some guards to protect the crops to make sure that Greenpeace does not hire some militant farmers, bus them in, and destroy the crops as they did to some U. of Philippine test crops. This is but one more example of reality vs humanity.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Ric Haldane
March 9, 2019 5:03 pm

Ric H

I think you are mixing two memes. The “buy it each year” is from maize hybrids and sunflower that are not reproducible because their big yields are lost if the result is cross-pollinated with itself.

I have also lived in third World countries and worked in 25 of them. Poor farmers are happy to buy seeds each year if it doubles their production. They are not stupid just because they have low cash incomes. In general, poor people are much better managers of money than others.

Poor farmers also buy fertiliser because it pays handsome returns. If the risks of farming were borne by the communities they feed, they would not be poor. All they need is a communal form of crop insurance – with contributions from everyone, because everyone eats.

If the golden rice produces a decent yield people will plant it.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
March 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Crispin, I read all of your post as I know you travel quite a bit and are well informed. I just brushed up on new research for golden rice. The International Rice Research Inst. and the Philippine Rice Research Inst. have worked well together for years. I did not know about the most recent version of golden rice. Looks like they used a gene from corn and a gene from a common soil bacteria. Beta carotene is 10 times greater than the first version and the yield is now normal. The rest will all be politics. The Philippines does not grow enough rice for domestic use. Their government controls the price and supply. Most rice is grown on small plots, often rented, with no equipment. Rice is imported from Thailand and also smuggled into the country. Sorry, but I do not put much faith in the Philippine government. I have never seen such a large bribe culture from government to street. People don’t seam able to think a day or two ahead, much less a season. I much prefer Thailand. I am sure you have your own opinions.

March 9, 2019 5:31 am

Don’t worry. Human-hating, lying trash will find a way to keep the poor children blind and dying. Humans are the most suicidal species out there. It’s all about destroying humanity or enslaving them. I marvel we are not extinct.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Sheri
March 9, 2019 10:10 am

Call someone who cares about you Sheri, and talk to them.
Life is not as bad as it appears to you today.
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
The sun will come up tomorrow.
And go see your doctor.

Go Home
March 9, 2019 7:41 am

Greens are the anti=vaxxers of the produce world.

Reply to  Go Home
March 9, 2019 8:56 am

I prefer to think of them as agricultural Luddites.

Just Jenn
March 9, 2019 8:16 am

From another angle:

Has anyone looked at the waste of golden rice? In terms of waste for the product to be on the market (reseed is not waste).

Any produce has waste tied to it, don’t quote me on it, but don’t we leave over 1/3 of food production in the field as waste? That might be higher or lower.

So has anyone looked at the waste in this product too? Because that is a tipping point. Let’s say that a white rice grower looses 1/3 of their crop in waste due to harvesting and bringing to market–imperfections…lost grains..etc…. But with golden rice they get back say even 1/2 of that waste as opposed to growing white rice, now they have a higher market advantage in that they have a better market yield…more advantageous for the farmer.

I’m just curious. We as a species waste a crapton of food, and most of that waste is before it even hits the market. So has anyone researched the waste associated with golden rice?

Reply to  Just Jenn
March 10, 2019 3:06 am

It’s going into Bangledesh which has a food shortage …. how do you propose there is going to be waste?

March 9, 2019 8:18 am

Ok this sounds good but the actually benefit remains to be seen. About one half of us are poor converters of Beta carotene to Vit A. Would it better to distribute cheap Vit A drops and get the 50% this does not help? Not saying I know the answer just asking the question.
Are GMO foods perfectly safe and equivalent to none GMO foods? Certainly there is reasonable evidence this is not the case in particular with GMO corn.
I have looked at the literature and believe there is good evidence that there are problems with at least some GMO food s and that they cannot be consider safe and equivalent to non GMO foods.
For those interested a comprehensive review has been done by what I view as reasonable scientists here.

Lewis Buckingham
Reply to  John
March 9, 2019 9:09 pm

Another good source of Vit A is liver and chicken eggs. However if the staple diet is rice and the people are vegetarian then the logical way around this is to add vit A in a precursor form to the vegetable diet.
Hence golden rice. Its culturally and religiously appropriate.
In the lowest per capita socioeconomic country on earth,Timor Leste, this problem can be overcome by merely growing chickens and giving each child an egg a day in the diet.
In this case it is culturally and religiously appropriate.

Johann Wundersamer
March 9, 2019 8:47 am

Bt- “biotech varieties” / ?

Tom Halla
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
March 9, 2019 8:58 am

bT is almost certainly a reference to Baccillus thuringensis toxin, which is bred into some GMO crops like maize or cotton, to control sucking insects. Curiously, bT is allowed as a spray on “organic’ crops.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 9, 2019 10:12 am

Give Tom Halla a gold star!

Big T
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 9, 2019 10:30 am

So called “organic” farmers in my area use this “bt” spray every yr. But, no uprising from the greens do I see.

Reply to  Big T
March 9, 2019 2:42 pm

BT spray far different than BT in the DNA of every cell.

Tom Halla
Reply to  John
March 9, 2019 2:49 pm

Pray tell, how?

Reply to  John
March 9, 2019 5:57 pm

Lets us agree that exposure to most, maybe all insecticides is potentially dangerous. Insecticides sprayed on a fields 2 months before harvest would likely be safer that if it were sprayed just before harvest. In the case of BT every cell in the plant is producing it all the time.

Shoki Kaneda
March 9, 2019 11:15 am

1.4 million deaths? Acceptable collateral damage to the “guardians of the planet”. These folks are cultists and should be given all the credence accorded that ilk.

Mark - Helsinki
March 9, 2019 11:39 am

The bad rep for GMO unfortunately comes in part from the image of Monsanto, who are a vie corp.

This is irrelevant of course when it comes to Golden Rice, but it does in part explain a lot. #agentOrange

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
March 9, 2019 5:56 pm

The rap against agent Orange has always been 100% propaganda.

March 9, 2019 2:43 pm

Way past the time to properly list Greenpeace as a terrorist organization against humans and treat it as such.

Steven Mosher
March 9, 2019 5:25 pm

“. A study by German researchers in 2014 estimated that activist opposition to the deployment of Golden Rice has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in just India alone.”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
March 10, 2019 3:19 am

Not sure what you intimating Mosher if you want the citation it was Justus Wesseler, David Zilberman

The main opposition is Greenpeace because they have a standing policy and they really don’t care how many people die

Greenpeace opposes the use of any patented genetically modified organisms in agriculture and opposes the cultivation of golden rice, because it will open the door to more widespread use of GMOs

March 9, 2019 6:40 pm


michael hart
March 9, 2019 9:39 pm

Environmentalist ideologues have fought fiercely for two decades to prevent this crop from being offered to poor farmers in developing countries. Among other things, they hired thugs to rip up test fields of the grain at the International Rice Research Institute in the Phillippines.

They behaved similarly in the UK, encouraged by the BBC.

Like the anti-frackers, anti-nuclear, and anti-carbon dioxide campaigners (when they are not the very same people and same organizations,) not only do they obstruct the use of technology, but they also obstruct proper research and learning about technologies. They oppose education and substitute it with their own half-truths, omissions, and lies. Again, done with the connivance or assistance of the BBC who have a formal duty to educate. That is how you can spot a true zealot with bad intentions and an insufficiency of the qualities that raise a human being up above other creatures that crawl upon the surface of the Earth.

March 10, 2019 3:58 am

Carrot seed?

Michael Ronayne
March 10, 2019 9:52 am

I did some fact checking on one of the allegations made by the anti-GMO activists against Golden Rice and found the following:

GMO Golden Rice Offers No Nutritional Benefits Says FDA

BNF No. 158 Rice

FDA Letter Dated Msy 24, 2018

“Although the concentration B-carotene in GR2E rice is too low to warrant a nutrient content claim, the B-carotene in GR2E rice results in grain that is yellow-golden in color.”

The FDA did say that the level of the Vitamin-A precursor B-carotene was too low, to make a claim, it did not say there was no nutritional benefit. Given now devastating a Vitamin-A deficiency is, anything over zero would be an improvement. Golden Rice may not be a panacea but is a step in the right direction. Faster please!

Another question is: how accurate and/or reasonable are the FDA threshold levels?

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