Published: September 14, 2012
Patrick Moore, PhD
September 14, 2012
“If you plan to prevent responsible testing and development of Golden Rice for humanitarian purposes, you will be accused of contributing to a crime against humanity. Your actions will be carefully registered and you will, hopefully, have the opportunity to defend your illegal and immoral actions in front of an international court.”
Dr. Ingo Potrykus to Greenpeace, February 2001
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines “crimes against humanity” as acts that are “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack – intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”
According to the World Health Organization between 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind. Millions of other people suffer from various debilitating conditions due to the lack of this essential nutrient.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified form of rice that, unlike conventional rice, contains beta-Carotene in the rice kernel. Beta-Carotene is converted to vitamin A in humans and is important for eyesight, the immune system, and general good health. Swiss scientist and humanitarian Dr. Ingo Potrykus and his colleagues developed Golden Rice in 1998. It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that golden rice can eliminate vitamin A deficiency.
Greenpeace and its allies have consistently opposed the introduction of Golden Rice for over a decade, claiming it may have “environmental and health risks” without ever elaborating on what those risks might be. After years of effort the Golden Rice Humanitarian Project, led by Dr. Potrykus and its Humanitarian Board were unable to break through the political opposition to Golden Rice.
Recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken a strong role, funding the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines & Bangladesh, with the hope of introducing Golden Rice to farmers and consumers by 2015 . Since the invention of Golden Rice in 1998 between four million and 8 million additional children have become
blind, nearly half of whom have already died. Surely this constitutes “great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.” Greenpeace continues to oppose Golden Rice
Greenpeace has openly and aggressively spread misinformation about Golden Rice since it was first invented and has continued to do so at every opportunity. They claim that there are better ways to alleviate vitamin A deficiency, such as vitamin pills and “home gardening”. Yet Greenpeace is doing nothing to implement alternative programs for the millions of victims, claiming the cause of vitamin A deficiency is “poverty”. One might ask if purposefully condemning millions of children to blindness and early death perpetuates poverty rather than alleviating it. Academies of Science around the world endorse the use of biotechnology, including genetic modification, to improve the nutrition and productivity of our food crops. There is zero evidence of any possible harm from these improvements.
It is clear by the facts that Greenpeace is guilty of crimes against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court. They claim that “Golden Rice is a failure” while they contribute to delaying the cure that is so desperately needed by millions of civilians. The fact that Greenpeace perpetuate lies about Golden Rice while at the same time doing nothing to solve the problem themselves constitutes gross negligence on top of the crime against humanity. Will someone please bring them to justice?
An advisor to government and industry, Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace and now serves as Chair and Chief Scientist with Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver Canada. He recently authored “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout – The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist.”