Golden Rice is a genetically engineered strain of rice being developed in order to address malnutrition problems (specifically a lack of vitamin-A) that affect millions of people (mostly children), causing them to starve or become blind.
In some societies where rice is the main staple, many of the poor do not get enough Vitamin A. Golden rice has had a gene that it carries but which is normally silenced, turned on–a gene that codes for a Vitamin A prerequisite. It’s estimated that around 2.5 million children a year could be saved from this fate by successful implementation of Golden Rice.
Last night, in the Phillipines, a test field for Golden Rice was vandalized, nearly all the plants were uprooted and left on the ground. IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute, conducting the study, said, “The trial cannot be continued and we are now conducting clean-up activities and reporting. ”
There’s a price tag to this kind of ignorance: 2.5 million innocent children a year.