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“Golden Rice”

time_cover_july_31_2000

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

A few years ago, TIME Magazine released a story deeming a new genetically modified strain of rice as “golden rice.” Why? This new engineered rice contains genes from various viruses and daffodils, which incorporates beta-carotene (vitamin A), into the final rice product. As numbers show, approximately 1 million children die each year because they are weakened by a vitamin A deficiency. So this now means that many people are hoping that this new rice can be part of the answer to solving malnutrition and world hunger…

Curious as to what occurred after this “breakthrough”? Monsanto took immediate advantage of this good press, which they rarely ever see. They, along with other major agribusinesses, created massive marketing campaigns promoting “biotechnology and its importance in ending world hunger.” Monsanto alone spent $50 million dollars in television and print advertising. Also, they marketed biotechnology in a way that would make those whom are skeptical look like the bad guys, or “road blocks” to ending world hunger.

What we know now is that these third world-countries that would potentially need “golden rice” the most, can’t even afford to grow these modified seeds. Such a great amount of pesticides and specific fertilizers are required, that it is merely impossible for these countries to ever obtain this type of grain. What many have to realize, Monsanto isn’t giving these seeds away, they want to make a heavy profit off of them. After hanging the “grain of hope” over these malnourished communities; Monsanto then basically stomped on their optimism. They teased these poverty-filled countries; they did not help them.

Is there a benefit for using genetically modified crops? Not really.

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