"Greenpeace has identified a weak point in the strategy of using Golden Rice for reducing vitamin A-deficiency" Ingo Potrykus, 10 Feb 2001 --- There's been a major spin operation to try to cover up Greenpeace's brilliant expose of the deceitful use of 'golden rice' as part of a cynical and misleading PR exercise. The following statement is from Emma Ginbson of Greenpeace UK.
If you haven't already, we strongly encourage you to read and circulate the docs at http://www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/
Bypass those elements of the media that are themselves implicated in the campaign of deceit (see our note at end)
You will/may have read some disturbing reports in this Saturday's papers (the Times, Telegraph & Indy) to the extent that Greenpeace either approves of the "moral goals of GM rice" or that Greenpeace will not take part in any action or protest over GM rice trials (which are happening in the Phillipines).
These reports are based on a press conference in France where a Greenpeace spokesperson was extensively quoted. There is, however, no truth in these statements! Greenpeace policy has not changed. Neither the moral nor the environmental issues have changed. Greenpeace is against any release of GM into the environment because of the potential risks; and Greenpeace reserves its right to take action to prevent any such release.
Genetically engineered rice containing provitamin A will not solve the problem of malnutrition in developing countries. The GE industry is cynically making false promises about 'Golden Rice' in a desperate attempt to find a new market for its unwanted products.
Greenpeace calculations show that an adult would have to eat at least 3.7 kilos of dry weight rice ie around 9 kilos of cooked rice, to satisfy his/her daily need of vitamin A from 'Golden rice'. This is 12 times the normal intake.
Even Ingo Potrykus, creator of 'Golden Rice' has expressed concerns about some of the claims made about it:
"...I share Greenpeace's disgrace about the heavy PR campaign of some agbiotech companies using results from our experiments, which were exclusively done within public research institutions, and using exclusively public funding." (1)
For more information and an excellent briefing entitled 'Reality vs Fiction' visit this website http://www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/
(1)Statement from Ingo Potrykus taken from AgBioView website --- ngin:
Compare the Telegraph's ludicrous headline and article on the Greenpeace expose of the cynical hyping of golden rice, "Greenpeace backs down on GM rice protests", with these other Telegraph headlines:
*16 January 2001: GM rice 'best hope of feeding world' [their take on Jules Pretty's recent report which according to the New Scientist: " will make sobering reading for people convinced that only genetically modified crops can feed the planet's hungry in the 21st century"!!!]
*12 July 2000: GM food 'can feed hungry millions'
*28 May 1999: GM crops 'can fight Third World hunger' --- *" [...] 'golden rice', which has been modified to include certain vitamins and is already saving the sight of thousands of children in the poorest parts of Asia." -Invitation from The United States Congress to a Special Congressional Forum, "Can Biotechnology Solve World Hunger."
*"If we could get more of this golden rice, which is a genetically modified strain of rice, especially rich in vitamin A, out to the developing world, it could save 40,000 lives a day, people that are malnourished and dying," -Former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
**"This rice could save a million kids a year" -headline on the cover of Time magazine