Golden Rice

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

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

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GoldenRiceIRRI
IRRI

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.

The activists also claim that Bangladeshi farmers are abandoning the biotech eggplant, but the study actually reported, "All Bt and 86 percent non-Bt farmers wanted to cultivate Bt eggplant in the next year if they can obtain the seeds/seedlings from the research station."

Shame, shame on the activists who so successfully delayed the deployment of golden rice. But hooray that it's finally getting to the poor people whom it will benefit most.

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

  1. What about life-saving golden showers?

    1. That’s South America, not India.

    2. So many will die when R. Kelly goes to jail.

    3. That thing about jellyfish stings is an old wives tale.

      1. Shhhhhhh.

  2. “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.””

    Greenpeace is a terrorist organization and should be treated as such by the law.

    1. Only takes a few Limpets:

      Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

  3. This should be stressed in ALL CAPS using short words and simple sentences. Brazil produces a lot of rice and has recently sworn in a military national socialist, complete with christianofascist cabinet members, who is just now struggling to understand what Denny Craine meant by “golden showers.” At the saying goes, “none is so blind…”

    1. I can’t decide which of these posts makes you sound like the bigger idiot ^V^V^

    2. If they are fascists then why would it matter if they claimed to be “christian”? Unless, of course, you just irrationally hate Christians…

    3. I’m sure you’re disappointed that your “christianofascist” hasn’t really caught on. I bet you thought you were so clever.

  4. One of the biggest talking points against engineered plants is a Canadian court case in which a farmer was allegedly successfully sued for patent infringement after bees pollinated his crop with genetic material from a neighbor’s plantation. This makes genetic engineering into enabling crass looting, or at best an invitation to some pretty undesirable neighborhood effects.

    1. Seems to me he had cause to sue in return.

    2. The way to fix that problem is through legal reform, not sentencing millions of innocents to blindness and death.

    3. If I am not mistaken, that case went to the Canadian supreme court and they decided, unanimously, that the farmer had in fact violated the patent, Monsanto’s patent, I think. Bottom line, the farmer was guilty.

      1. My mistake, not unanimous:

        “Monsanto Canada Inc v Schmeiser [2004] 1 S.C.R. 902, 2004 SCC 34 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada case on patent rights for biotechnology, between a Canadian canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser, and the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto. The court heard the question of whether Schmeiser’s intentionally growing genetically modified plants constituted “use” of Monsanto’s patented genetically modified plant cells. By a 5-4 majority, the court ruled that it did.[1] The case drew worldwide attention and is widely misunderstood to concern what happens when farmers’ fields are accidentally contaminated with patented seed. However, by the time the case went to trial, all claims of accidental contamination had been dropped; the court only considered the GM canola in Schmeiser’s fields, which Schmeiser had intentionally concentrated and planted. Schmeiser did not put forward any defence of accidental contamination.[2] “

        1. At one time, he had claimed it had blown off a passing truck; whoever wrote the debunking wondered (in print) ‘how it had blown into such precise rows’.

          1. Drip irrigation?

    4. Fake news. Yes, the farmer was sued for patent infringement but it had nothing to do with pollination (bee or otherwise). As the case worked through, it became evident that he’d flagrantly stolen seeds in violation of his contract.

    5. You know how he was caught? Because he was buying vast quantities of Roundup, and Monsanto (the manufacturer of the Roundup) learned that from its retailer. Since spraying Roundup kills ordinary crops, and he bought and used it in spray-the-whole-field quantities, it is absolutely certain that Mr. Schmeisser knew that he’d planted his entire field with patented seeds.

      So, however he obtained the initial plants with the patented genes (it’s just barely possible, but not likely, that he managed to do it legally), he made a knowing and deliberate effort to copy a patented item in order to reap the unique benefits conferred by the patented item. That is textbook patent infringement.

  5. activist opposition to the deployment of Golden Rice has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in just India alone.

    First world progs are always willing to have a few million lesser people die for their cause.

    1. Yet libertarians are the cold-hearted ones and Proggies are full to the brim with empathy.

      1. They’re full to the brim with something…

      2. Unless your unborn child, or jewish, or don’t agree with them

  6. These luddites should be hanged for crimes against humanity. Then, they should be resuscitated and horsewhipped, then hanged again.

    1. Too easy. Force them to live on a third world diet that ends with vitamin-A deficiency.

      1. Yes, a much more humane choice. They want it, give it to them good and hard. Anything else would be selfish.

  7. It’s not hard to understand the regressives. They NEED people to suffer and die to justify their authoritarian policies.

  8. When can I get golden rice on my burrito at Chipotle?

    1. Crusty will happily pee on your “burrito.”

  9. How does this golden rice taste? I love rice. I would like to try it.

    1. Its like a golden shower of rice.

  10. How is Trump guilty in this Golden Rice Conspiracy against people of color? There must be an angle.

    1. And a plot to end gay rights.

    2. It was a typo in the dossier?

    3. Let me put it this way: If you’re ever invited to dinner at the White House, stay away from the rice.

  11. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption.

    Not even a confirmed execution by a thug hired by environmentalist ideologues?!

  12. They’re evil those activists.

  13. Hooray! Finally

  14. They’re not “environmentalists”, they’re malnutrition proponents.

    -jcr

  15. According to Ron Bailey’s Nanny-state goal, government should force all poor families to eat this rice or its child abuse.

    Dont be murders of children, force poor kids to eat this rice.

    1. Ron is an awesome commentator who argues in good faith. And he’ll even join the discussion in the comments. I think he is wrong on Vaccinations and Climate Change, but this caricature is not an appropriate response to any of his articles.

      1. Ron Bailey was not just wrong on vaccinations and Climate Change, his comments and positions were laughable.

        Ron Bailey|3.6.19 @ 6:05PM|#
        mc: No one made any such suggestion. But I hope that one of your loved ones doesn’t become immunocompromised as a result of treating their cancer – it’s not just vaccine preventable diseases that can kill them.

        This is the kind of biased crap that does nothing to support his position.

      2. *UPDATE: Sen. Rand Paul (R?Ky.) on March 7 submitted the following response:

        How sad that a magazine that purports to extoll individual choice editorializes against choice in vaccines. I wonder if there is any point at which a patient should get to choose their treatment. Deciding whether or not to have a medical treatment injected into your body sounds like it might involve personal choice. The government now requires over 71 vaccines administered in 53 injections. Forty-eight of these vaccines are required before age 6.

        What if the government decides that ‘public health’ requires 241 vaccines in 170 injections? Would that be OK? Are libertarians really OK with letting the government dictate what diseases you must be vaccinated for and when? Really? To those who justify coercion in the name of public health, be forewarned that the security you think you get when you exchange your liberty often turns out not to be that secure, and the small amount of liberty you offer up is greedily gobbled up by government until your original offering of liberty becomes much greater than you intended.
        Rand Paul Fails Parents and Kids of Every Political Persuasion by Offering Weak Support for Vaccines

        1. The problem with Rand Paul’s stance on vaccines is this–

          His kids are vaccinated.

          Rand Paul knows that being vaccinated is safe. He knows that the anti-vaxxers are fueled by misinformation and lies.

          And he knows, as a libertarian, that self ownership is paramount.

          So, he will run the risk of the return of thriving tiny coffin businesses rather than compromise his principles. He will sound mealy-mouthed.

          And I don’t know why.

          It is the act of a second to say

          ‘I know vaccines work, and I know that they save lives. You should get vaccinated and you should let your kids be vaccinated. That is the simple truth. But I also understand that people have the right to be stupid. To believe obvious idiocy and risk their, and their children’s lives. And, my commitment to libertarian ideals makes me admit that you are within your rights to become a walking smallpox blanket, to emulate Typhoid Mary–but I am under no obligation to treat you as a sane and rational being should you so choose.’

          1. If vaccines are soooo safe then how come the FEDs have paid out billions to the families of those who have died or been severely injured by them? How come there are laws on the books that prevent people from suing the vaccine makers?…Go ahead & inject all kinds of poisons & toxins into your kids, but leave mine alone! If you are so sure the vaccines will prevent your kids from getting sick, then you have nothing to worry about if mine are not vaccinated!

            “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come
            when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict
            the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to
            others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special
            privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.”
            Dr. Benjamin Rush, Signer of Declaration of Independence

  16. Ya know how you can spot a greenpeace activist?

    Hold a tribble up next to one.

    Tribbles love modified grains but they hate greenpeace activists.

  17. No luddites yet here to tell us GMOs haven’t yet been proven to cause no harm at all? Trueman, your sorry ass isn’t missed at all.

    1. http://www.aei.org/publication…..principle/

      The Problems with Precaution: A Principle without Principle

      Yea man, count me among those who are glad that the Government Almighty of a shithole nation has FINALLY gotten off of its ass, and promised to get out of the way!!!

      Now where can I buy golden rice in the USA?

      http://www.independentsciencen…..-says-fda/

      GMO Golden Rice Offers No Nutritional Benefits Says FDA

      FDA sucks my hemorrhoids as usual…

  18. Isn’t Greenpeace part of the party of ‘science’ or is it reality based…I forget the slogan this week.

    1. Greenpeace are a subspecies of publicity whores, but far more obnoxious than garden-variety publicity whores like celebrities.

      -jcr

  19. Just read the basic articles and am not an expert in plant biochemistry.

    This much I get, you eat beta carotene and your body does the rest to turn it into usable vitamin A which has several forms. Other animals and plants do this as well.

    So the rice plant, perhaps the most important food on earth for many millions, already has the precursors which the leaves do for photosynthesis but it does not get into the seed which we eat. After years they found only only a few steps were needed to get the plant to produce beta carotene in the rice. They were able to accomplish that with only three gene insertions which replicate. Monsanto is practically giving it away.

    A fantastic story of human advancement. Good that there is progress against the idiots who would oppose such a thing.

    1. …But, that cannot be. Monsanto is EVIL!!!!11!!1!

    2. This sounds like a great thing, but I don’t understand why it’s so important. Beta-carotene is present at fairly high levels in carrots, yams, many kinds of melons, and many green leafy vegetables. Why do third world farmers have to get it from rice? Don’t they also have a vegetable garden? If they aren’t eating enough variety of fresh vegetables and fruits to get beta-carotene that way, I’d think they’re also missing many other vital nutrients.

      Protein enhanced rice, maize, and other grains would eliminate much more malnutrition.

  20. Stay at home mom Kelly Richards from New York after resigning from her full time job managed to average from $6000-$8000 a month from freelancing at home… This is how she done it

    ???????????? http://www.Net440.com

  21. All I know for sure is that since I have been eating plants that have been genetically modified with a BT gene insertion caterpillars have been avoiding me. The fuzzly little assholes creep me out!

    1. Also, if you drink straight Roundup, you’ll feel better, not worse.

  22. If this stuff really has been tested and examined to a fare-thee-well and found both beneficial in the short run and harmless in the long run, then by all means plant it. One good product of GMO tinkering doesn’t justify all of them, but neither should blanket suspicion of GMO deprive seriously needy people of a proven good product.

    The solution to the whole argument is to damn-well test every last GMO product extensively, for several generations, to make sure it damn-well *is* safe before you let it loose in the general environment.

  23. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

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