Two bowls of rice.

‘a Catastrophe’: Greenpeace Blocks Planting of ‘lifesaving’ Golden Rice

Thousands of children could die after court backs campaign group over GM crop in Philippines, scientists warn

May 25, 2023 | Source: The Guardian | by Robin McKie

Scientists have warned that a court decision to block the growing of the genetically modified (GM) crop Golden Rice in the Philippines could have catastrophic consequences. Tens of thousands of children could die in the wake of the ruling, they argue.

The Philippines had become the first country – in 2021 – to approve the commercial cultivation of Golden Rice, which was developed to combat vitamin A deficiency, a major cause of disability and death among children in many parts of the world.

But campaigns by Greenpeace and local farmers last month persuaded the country’s court of appeal to overturn that approval and to revoke this. The groups had argued that Golden Rice had not been shown to be safe and the claim was backed by the court, a decision that was hailed as “a monumental win” by Greenpeace.

Many scientists, however, say there is no evidence that Golden Rice is in any way dangerous. More to the point, they argue that it is a lifesaver.