LusakaTimes: After 24 years of research and millions of dollars spent, GMO Golden Rice is still a failure and a pipedream. As the GMO industry seeks to expand its grip over the global food system, it has targeted developing countries and the problems they face in crop production. Drought and pest damage are two issues that Monsanto and its cohorts see as opportunities for unleashing their patented, genetically modified (GM) crops.

Nutrient deficiency is another problem in developing countries that GMO corporations insist should be addressed with their products. One high-profile example is vitamin A deficiency, which especially affects the Global South, increasing risks of infection, disease and other ailments such as blindness.Golden Rice was supposed to be the GMO industry’s great solution.

Biotech proponents have tried to blame their failure on activists however,a new study has found that GMO activists are not to blame for scientific challenges slowing the introduction of this genetically engineered rice that is claimed to be Vitamin A enhanced. Scientists can’t get the rice to perform in the real world. Just think about how many children could have been saved from vitamin A deficiency if those many millions of dollars had been spent, instead, on providing them with the Vitamin A rich foods that nature has given us.

how many children could have been saved from vitamin A deficiency if those many millions of dollars had been spent, instead, on providing them with the Vitamin A rich foods that nature has given us.

First conceived in the 1980s and a focus of research since 1992, Golden Rice has been a lightning rod in the battle over genetically modified crops.

GMO advocates have long touted the innovation as a practical way to provide poor farmers in remote areas with a subsistence crop capable of adding much-needed Vitamin A to local diets. A problem in many poor countries,Vitamin A deficiencies leave millions at high risk for infection, diseases and other maladies, such as blindness.It is still unknown if the beta carotene in Golden Rice can even be converted to Vitamin A in the bodies of badly undernourished children. There also has been little research on how well the beta carotene in Golden Rice will hold up when stored for long periods between harvest seasons, or when cooked using traditional methods common in remote rural locations.

Some anti-GMO groups view Golden Rice as an over-hyped Trojan Horse that biotechnology corporations and their allies hope will pave the way for the global approval of other more profitable GMO crops.

Washington University anthropologist Glenn Stone,has studied rice cultivation and research in the Philippines since 2013.
“The rice simply has not been successful in test plots of the rice breeding institutes in the Philippines, where the leading research is being done,” Stone said. “It has not even been submitted for approval to the regulatory agency, the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).”

“A few months ago, the Philippine Supreme Court did issue a temporary suspension of GMO crop trials,” Stone said. “Depending on how long it lasts, the suspension could definitely impact GMO crop development. But it’s hard to blame the lack of success with Golden Rice on this recent action.”