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Fight in Philippines To Stop Greenpeace's Depopulation Plan To Eliminate GMO ‘Golden Rice’

On April 17 a Philippines court ruling to block the use of a vitamin A rich variety of rice called “Golden Rice” could mean the deaths of tens of thousands of children, but Greenpeace considers the court ruling a “monumental win,” according to The Guardian. The World Health Organization estimates that 100,000 children die every year from the lack of vitamin A and it is also the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness. The lack of vitamin A in the diet has been an ongoing problem across Asia, especially in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

Thirty years ago Peter Beyer, professor of cell biology at Freiburg University and Ingo Potrykus of the Institute of Plant Sciences in Switzerland created a new variety of rice. They added genes into normal rice that could produce beta-carotene which would allow the human body to produce vitamin A. This new rice was approved by the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries. In 2021 the Philippines took the first steps to commercially produce this new crop, but in 2022 Greenpeace went to court to stop any "Genetically Modified" rice in the Philippines. The government of the Philippines this month is challenging the court ruling and many expect that eventually the decision of the court will be reversed. However, many scientists fear that the legal battle may cause other countries such as India or Bangladesh to delay their approval of the new crop. 

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