Who paid for the golden rice eco-attack?

Activists attacked and destroyed a field of “golden rice” in Pili, Camarines Sur in the Philippines.

The field was part of a scientific trial of golden rice designed to evaluate its safety and utility as a crop. Golden rice is a hybrid strain of rice which is particularly high in beta carotene, a potent source of vitamin A. The rice has a distinctive golden brown color. It is estimated that each year 2 million people die and 500,000 children go blind from vitamin A deficiency. Scientists hope that golden rice, which is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, can save many of them.

Golden rice 2The trial rice field was managed by the Philippines affiliate of the nonprofit International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The rice was almost ready for harvest when the field was attacked, and within 15 minutes, the rice trampled, uprooted and destroyed. The IRRI reports that the trial will continue in other fields in the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

IRRI spokesman Dr. Bruce Tolentino said, “we all want to answer questions about Golden Rice. Therefore, we need to test Golden Rice and test it according to the best and most rigorous research standards. This means continuing field trials to ensure there is adequate data and analysis that will enable informed decisions on Golden Rice. At IRRI, we remain dedicated to improving nutrition for everyone in the Philippines and in other rice-eating countries,” Tolentino said. “We’re here for the long term, and Golden Rice and other healthier rice are part of our efforts to help reduce malnutrition among rice-consumers.”

Anti-GMO campaigners have characterized those who attacked the rice field as concerned “farmers,” yet investigators have labeled them “paid activists.” A hard left group called the “Peasant Movement of the Philippines” appears to be directly responsible for the attack. While questions remain as to who paid the activists who conducted the attack, it is clear that what would seem to fit the definition of an act of eco-terrorism, was incited by international NGOs including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Food First. These and other groups have worked together to conduct a mis and disinformation campaign against golden rice and other GMO foods labeling them dangerous “frankenfoods.”

Zenaida Soriano of the Communist, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) said, “The development and promotion of Golden Rice illustrates an imperialist plundAsian Peasant Coalition logoer of Asian agriculture that monopolize seeds, limits bio-diversity and lessens dietary diversification, which primarily causes malnutrition…  We condemned the IRRI, and Syngenta’ for raking huge profits while destroying agriculture contrary to its promise.  We don’t need GMOs . What we need is genuine agrarian reform to resolve hunger and malnutrition. Further, we call on our members’  across Asia to uproot all GM crops in their country, intensify campaign against GMOs and strongly oppose its commercialization.”

The organized campaign against golden rice is deeply anti-science and is based on “ideological considerations, not scientific skepticism.” With the overwhelming scientific evidence to date showing golden rice to be environmentally and nutritionally safe, Greenpeace has been forced forced to voice contrived objections such as, “Vitamin A rice could, if introduced on a large scale, exacerbate malnutrition and ultimately undermine food security because it encourages a diet based on one staple rather than increase access to the many vitamin-rich food plants.” Really Greenpeace? Greenpeace has flamed false fears in the Philippines and elsewhere by labeling golden rice a “threat to food security and nutrition” and demanding that nations permit “no room on our plates for golden rice.”

The New Scientist quotes Beau Baconguis, program manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia based in the Philippines as saying that, “there is not enough safety testing done on any GM cropsGreenpeace logo.” Baconguis believes the activists who destroyed the rice field took matters into their own hands because they were concerned about their crops being contaminated. “I think that the farmers know what they want. What they want is a safe environment that they can grow their crops in,” she says.

The “Peasant Movement” and the NGOs egging them on have declared war against science itself. By destroying the trial field they were vandalizing not a rice field, but the Filipino girlsscientific method. They do not want the field trials to continue, fearing the result will be a solid scientific conclusion that golden rice is not only beneficial to the health of those who eat it, but poses no meaningful ecological threat. Destroying this field has as much to do with valid research and activism as medieval book burning. Closed minds are no way to conduct science.

If Greenpeace, the APC and those who follow their lead continue their misanthropic attempts to thwart the scientific development and evaluation of golden rice, they position themselves squarely against the progress of science. The blindness and death of millions will be on their heads.

Golden rice



About the Author: CFACT Ed

  • Aaron

    Quick quesiton to help me clarify this issue: How much will golden rice seeds cost and will farmers need to purchase every year, or will they be able to harvest seeds from their existing crops to use in subsequent crops. Also, how much do current “plain” seeds cost and are they able to be harvested from mature crops for use in subsequent crops?

  • Jerrymat

    After reading this I searched the web for “golden rice” and came up with this counter claim. http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/GEessays/goldenricehoax.html

    • cardigan

      Which is contradicted by this:


      and the link in reply to judy cross.

      • Judy Cross

        Do a search for “insertion mutation” and then then tell me GMOs are inherently safe. You can’t find evidence of harm when you refuse to look for it.
        Just as government has been the biggest provider of funding for the Climate Scam, government has been sponsoring research on GMOs…both Clinton and Canada’s then PM Chretien each gave Monsanto a $600 Mn grant to produce GM wheat.(Canada has 1/10th the population of the US, so Canadians got fleeced more than Americans. Canadian farmers have been fighting GM wheat because foreign buyers would stop imports if they thought the wheat was contaminated.)

      • Judy Cross

        Oh, my…you proved my point. The experiment was based on a single feeding of healthy adults. The object was only to determine whether the carotene was utilized. It was not to determine safety, which is acknowledged to require long term feeding studies.

    • antoinepgrew

      Excellent. Vandana Shiva is well-informed. Never underestimate her.

  • Judy Cross

    Have animal feeding studies been done? It seems not, at least none have been published. Instead Syngenta , Gates and the Golden Rice project went straight to human feeding trials on Vit A deficient children in China, justifying this breach of ethics on “humanitarian” grounds.

    Golden rice used daffodil genes to produce the carotene. Daffodils are poisonous, so why use genes from daffodil when there are so many edible sources of carotene producing genes?

    Remember that the “climate change” nonsense was/ is being used to justify the need for GMOs. Doesn’t that set your antennae quivering?

    • cardigan

      Daffodils may well be poisonous, (I never tried them), but genes are not. The genes for b-carotene are clearly not the ones that generate any poison from daffodils.

      • Judy Cross

        How do you know what that gene encodes for besides Beta carotene?
        I repeat: why use a gene from a poisonous plant when so many edible ones are available?
        I find it very suspicious.

        • cardigan

          I think you would find anything suspicious. Why would they want to kill off their consumers?

          • Judy Cross

            This article uses the idea of population reduction as the reason for being against GMOs. I say, the opposite is true. What better way to reduce population than to produce food crops that produce their own poisons, as BT corn does? The BT toxin has been show to produce irritation in mammalian intestines too.
            Without long term feeding studies, there is no way these foods can be considered safe. Remember that the FDA, with no scientific evidence whatsoever, declared GM food to be “substantially equivalent” to non-GM food. What hubris. Science by Fiat!

  • jeanmarie

    Anything with Bill and Melinda’s fingerprints on it is suspect–they are eugenicists!! Are there not other vitamin A rich foods that could be grown, (like carrots and greens) rather than continuing with these horrible experiments that endanger humans and livestock? I keep thinking of the cotton farmers in India committing suicide because of the GM seeds they can’t afford to buy every year–lots of widows left with children they can’t care for. This has to stop.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      What has to stop is the fear mongering and the loony comments about carrots and greens. Try growing them in tropical heat and humidity and then shipping them to urban areas.

  • Judy Cross

    Hedge funds are dumping Monsanto and so are inside traders. The Seralini team has its own website: http://gmoseralini.org/en/

    • Rupert Bravery

      Seralinii has form and is distrusted by the scientific community for reasons of good science. Check out the Seralini Affair page on Wikipedia and give it a good reading.

      • Judy Cross

        Critics have vested interests and most the the criticism is based on straw man arguments..
        Read http://gmoseralini.org/category/critics-answered/

        • Rupert Bravery

          If you read the page I suggested carefully then you will see that no straw man arguments have been made in the report of the affair. You do know what is meant by a straw man argument I take it?
          I have no vested interest in GMO and therefore am amused by your attempt to use an ad hominem argument rather that one based on science.

          • Judy Cross

            wikipedia is a snare and delusion. Lawrence Solomon tangled with the Climate Cabal and many people have had false information about themselves posted and which they are not allowed to correct.

            Using wikipedia as a reference is about as useful as using back stairs or over the fence gossip…gossip with a pretense of authority…that’s all it is!

            • Judy Cross

              Actually, it is much worse than mere gossip. It is often “misinformation,defamation and general nonsense”, according to this site : http://wikipediaocracy.com

              • Rupert Bravery

                I do not think that you can dismiss all of Wikipedia as being a pack of lies. I warrant that there will be instances where it has been abused however this does not make it unique in the media.
                The page that I refer to ably demonstrates that it is a better source of information than garden fence gossip as it gives over 80 references from both sides of the argument.
                Have you read it yet?

                • Judy Cross

                  No, I quite like the botany section, but anything even vaguely political is suspect.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    I suspect there is a reason behind the mainly leftist ideological agendas that still prevail. Why do the activist ideologues still use the doctrine of environmentalism and other forms of political correctness as a tool to shut people’s mouths up and suppress the truth about the marginalization or dismantling of good, tried-and-tested traditional values and customs, traditional institutions (including the institution of monarchy), etc.?

    How politically depressing the situation is! Would people like me take action on various sorts of political correctness that adversely affect various societies and economies around the world? We need to find good solutions from which come from anywhere else, because people need better principles and a good amount of statesmanship to boot in counteracting the doctrines of politically-correct worldviews currently in the public discourse across the globe.

    Therefore, it is important for people like me not to give up that much and follow what the principles say about the situation. Time to get going now! – J.P.K.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    I suspect a hidden agenda of environmentalism has caused the situation recently.

    What a terrible price to pay for what the activist ideologues done to a rice field there!

    People need to find out who the activist ideologues actually are: they still have motivations that are mainly left-leaning, and have little changed much despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. How depressing the ideological politics still the agendas are. – J.P.K.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    In my view, there remains a question mark activist ideologues do not want to answer properly on the situation that has justified the ideological and philosophical doctrine of environmentalism. Why are the activist ideologues use the motivations to tolerate this? How did they get involved in such an incident down on the farm there in Camarines Sur?

    It is very, very sad right now. But there is no reason to give up too much in challenging those belonging mainly to the Left who use the doctrines of political correctness to exploit the situation such as the one found in the Philippine province of Camarines Sur.

    People like me want more answers from those who invoke the political correctness in one situation after another, as of now. – J.P.K.

  • j_martin

    While I am certainly not in favor of destroying things, especially research projects, I do have trouble with the way GMO safety is “verified.”

    My bees are dying, and my organic garden is failing (personal experience) I believe because of the GMO corn in the neighborhood producing BT toxin at about a pound per acre. The “safety” documentation cites BT as safe because organic producers have used it for years. We use the bacteria, which may produce a few grams per acre of the toxin, all inside the target pest. GMO corn produces the toxin in the plant itself in concentrations large enough to kill. I took a walk through the cornfield about two weeks ago when it was tasseling (producing pollen) and found dead and dying deer mice that had the audacity to feed on fallen tassel parts.

    There’s much more information on the subject. Just look up BT corn.

    So, while I disagree with their tactics, maybe they have a point.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    The situation behind the uprooting of “golden rice” a week ago has truly remained unresolved, right now. How sad it is, how sad.

    Could that be true? There is much to do with the kind of political correctness in the form of environmentalism that pervades the public discussion across the globe.

    Where is the real outrage over which organic food items cost more to purchase especially when they are locally farmed and made? I suspect it is because of a target market for these food products claiming to have perceived health benefits, but I digress to know more about it.

    Also, I personally could not understand how politically correct such an idea in convincing (or, more appropriately, fooling) the people with the belief that organic farming would be safe to people’s health. Could it be true, too? Or perhaps, could it be disputed otherwise?

    There has to have any real answers to questions on how to understand the truly sound science in the food sector right now. It should never too late to know well in the farm sector in analyzing the impact of depressive politics have on sound science. – J.P.K.

  • bob


  • bob

    Greenpeace says there’s not enough info on Golden rice, yet at the same time it says research and field trial of golden rice need to stop

  • David Lance Moxon

    I am not an environmentalist by any means, I am a libertarian conservative, I don’t think that man made co2 is the cause of climate change. I think this issue is totally seperate from that kind of thing.

    WHEN GOLDEN RICE IS FULLY IMPLEMENTED THESE PEOPLE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PRODUCE THEIR OWN SEED, they will be forced to buy it, or receive it from some government. The golden rice program is food tyranny!