GE Golden Rice – Necessary Evil ?

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Near to my home in Bangalore , there is a sign board which reads-

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

How true ?.. Sometime back  i had written about Rice as a staple diet and its place in diabetes .

Most people hate the term GMO, Genetically Modified Food etc. so how do companies like Syngenta, Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer etc.. manage to spread the “good word” around – do a “white coat ” marketing on some websites like forbes India. Make the crowd believe – there is decades of genuine research to support their claims that GE food is good /safe ! Give the researcher a World Food Prize – to make it all authentic and genuine !GoldenRice-1280x570

‘Golden’ rice is genetically engineered (GE) rice variety that has been developed to produce pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene). It has been hyped as a solution to vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which can lead to blindness. However, Golden Rice is deficient in many other micro-nutrients such as iron and zinc, essential for good health. The basic nutrient rice is supposed to provide is  not vitamin A but Iron ,Magnesium , Zinc etc.

A single food cannot meet the need of human nutrition. A well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and grains is the NEED. Not a quick fix like Golden Rice.GE ‘Golden’ rice is a environmental hazard, poses risks to human health, and could compromise food, nutrition and financial security of a country.src: http://rasica.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/baz4.jpg

Rice can become contaminated with GE rice, even just from field trials. GE rice contamination will affect traditional, conventional and organic rice farmers because they will lose their markets, especially exports, which would negatively impact countries like India , Vietnam, Philippines etc.

Despite all the hype surrounding GE ‘Golden’ rice, it still remains unproven whether daily consumption of GE ‘Golden’ rice would actually improve the vitamin A status of people who are deficient ! On the contrary, it might actually be the real source of Cancer and Eczema related to food allergies and more ! The danger of manipulating natures balance might not be that easy  to comprehend or understand.

The millions of dollars invested in GE ‘Golden’ rice would have been better spent on VAD solutions that are already available and effective such as food supplements, food fortification and home gardening. The need is to create sustainable systems that provide food security and diversity in a way that is empowering people, protects biodiversity, and ensures a long-lasting solution to VAD and malnutrition.

We need more activists like Vandana Shiva  who oppose genetic engineering but also scorn the technological Green revolution, which according to many estimates saved more than a billion lives.

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3 thoughts on “GE Golden Rice – Necessary Evil ?

    wren said:
    April 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for your contribution. I see it this way too. I found your blog through researching gotu kola, which I made a tincture of a few years ago and just rediscovered so I’m interested in adding it to my daily regime for a while to see if I notice any changes in my system. I have a passion for India, a feeling for it- though I haven’t yet been there this lifetime. I admire ayurvedic systems, and I’m thankful to have found your blog. By the way, holy basil is one of my favorite plants! Do you enjoy this herb or have an experience of growing up with it in the home? Many blessings & thanks for your wonderful, informative blog ❤ wren

      Dr. Chetali responded:
      April 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Wren for the lovely comment.

      Regarding – Basil, I will surely put a post on it. Holy Basil has been a integral part of our life since childhood. It will be a pleasure to share my experience.

      Yes, you should plan a visit to India 🙂

    wren said:
    April 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Oh, I look forward to your article! I loooooooooove tulsi! 🙂

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