Fields of beaten gold
Published 07 December 2013
IN AUGUST environmentalists in the Philippines vandalised a field of Golden Rice, an experimental grain whose genes had been modified to carry beta-carotene, a chemical precursor of vitamin A. Golden Rice is not produced by a corporate behemoth but by the public sector. Its seeds will be handed out free to farmers. The aim is to improve the health of children in poor countries by reducing vitamin A deficiency, which contributes to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and cases of blindness each year.
Environmentalists claim that these sorts of actions are justified because genetically modified (GM) crops pose health risks. Now the main ground for those claims has crumbled.