Biotech scientists claim to have created the holy-grail once again after mutating genes of rice to “have longer, hardier grains that cook faster and taste better.” This is the latest GM ‘discovery’ being hailed as a way to feed the world.
Rice is a staple food in many countries and has been for thousands of years. That’s also another reason it is a Blue Ribbon prize for biotech. If they can create a genetically modified version of rice and force it into markets as they have already done with soy and corn, they will have monopolized not only the US market, but international markets as well.
Somehow biotech thinks that their version of genetically manipulated rice will be better than the over 40,000 varieties that currently exist. The US produces only two percent of the world’s rice, but is the world’s fourth largest rice exporter. They are also quite possibly the only country which has allowed biotech to absolutely dominate their farmland, governmental regulatory agencies, and even universities.
Rice is also the staple food of most low and lower-middle income countries, with Asia consuming 90 percent of all rice grown, and Africa coming second, making it a very attractive option indeed for the biotech industry. You know the saying, beggars can’t be choosers.
Entire continents like Africa have even refused donated food though, and in the article titled “Better Dead than GM Fed?” the Economist details how Zambia and other countries have refused deliveries of GM corn and soya from the UN World Food Programme, though they face some of the largest populations of the poverty-stricken, arguably, in the entire world.
Golden Rice, involving standard first generation gene technology funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, was also developed to “feed hungry and poor” countries, as well as to eliminate blindness by being genetically modified to have higher levels of Vitamin A, but after 70 patents were filed on the GM genes and constructs used in making the golden rice to protect its creation, this rice failed to feed the poor or reverse blindness.
Indeed, the new GM rice could feed “half the entire population,” as some mainstream news headlines suggest, but so could the already existing strains of rice that are currently being grown.
Furthermore, the “we need GM to feed the world” propaganda has been exposed for what it truly is. We already produce 17% more food than we did 30 years ago, and food distribution is more at the heart of the problem than food creation. We also throw away tons of the stuff. Americans waste more than $165 billion worth, annually. Power keeps people hungry, not the lack of food – especially not the genetically modified creations of Big Biotech. We simply don’t need them.