Genetically-engineered ‘Golden Rice’ can successfully address the problem of Vitamin-A deficiency in India and help save millions of lives, environmental activist and former Greenpeace member Patrick Moore said today.
Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace International, later disassociated himself from the global NGO and is now the leader of ‘Allow Golden Rice Now’ campaign.
Greenpeace is a strong opponent of ‘Golden Rice’, a genetically-modified variant of the grain containing beta- carotene.
“Vitamin-A deficiency is a major cause of child mortality. Vitamin-A deficiency in India effects many more diseases and Golden Rice can be a cure for it but as it is created with genetic science, Greenpeace and anti-GMO movement fervently oppose it. No country has approved it for cultivation,” he said.
‘Allow Golden Rice Now’ campaign is on a world tour to create awareness about the benefits of ‘Golden Rice’.
Moore said had the genetically-modified variant of the grain been a cure for diseases like malaria, cancer or ebola, it would have been approved years ago.
According to data compiled by the campaign, Vitamin-A deficiency in India affects more than 35 million children.
Worldwide, about 2 million children die every year from diseases related to the deficiency, and between 250,000 and 500,000 go blind. Vitamin-A deficiency is the biggest killer of children in the world today, according to the data.