BERLIN, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists in Europe are stepping up their efforts to bring Golden Rice into production, with its promise to alleviate one of the world's scourges, vitamin A deficiency. They have organized a nine-city European tour led by Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace. "Vitamin A deficiency is the largest killer of children in the world today," says Dr. Moore. "Those who claim Golden Rice could be harmful provide no evidence, and have blocked it for eight years, during which millions of preventable deaths have occurred."
Golden Rice has enough vitamin A that 40 grams a day is enough to prevent the blindness and death that claims two million people a year, according to the WHO. But because it is a GMO there is opposition to it from Greenpeace and other activist organizations. Research and development trials have been sabotaged, unproven claims of toxicity have been alleged and researcher credibility attacked.
The Allow Golden Rice Now Society contends it should be exempted from the zero-tolerance policies of Greenpeace towards genetic modification. Golden Rice is a humanitarian cause, controlled by scientists, producing viable seeds, meaning no corporate control. The Golden Rice Humanitarian Board will distribute the rice at the same cost as normal rice to small farmers. Within a few years of production it is expected to make a major reduction in the 250 million pre-school age children who the World Health Organization says are vitamin A deficient.
The Golden Rice Now! campaign begins with a keynote presentation by Dr. Moore at the Humboldt University Forum for Food and Agriculture in Berlin on January 15, followed by a protest at the Greenpeace Hamburg office on January 17. It will then conduct forums and public demonstrations at Greenpeace offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome and London. A full schedule is available at the campaign website www.allowgoldenricenow.org.
"The only difference with Golden Rice is that it has beta carotene in its grain. Beta carotene is essential for our bodies to make vitamin A. The only possible health effects from this are beneficial, and we demand that Greenpeace and its allies make a humanitarian exception to their zero-tolerance position on genetic modification," says Dr. Moore.
Media inquiries: Patrick Moore (01)778-383-9053
German-speaking: Uwe Schrader +49-176-631-73-684
SOURCE Allow Golden Rice Now Society