Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rice, rice baby

Liberals love to hate GMOs, genetically modified organisms, but particularly foods. Also dubbed "Frankenfoods" the fear is that these foods aren't safe, and can contaminate other, non-GMO foods through pollination. But as I grow older (elderly?), I find myself questioning this argument.

I decided to research a common rebuttal to the anti-GMO community, which is the health benefits created by infusing rice with Vitamin A. This is really helpful in poor nations, where a lack of nutrients can cause blindness (yikes).

But activist Vandana Shiva isn't buying this defense. According to Wikipedia, her stance is that by "focusing on a narrow problem (vitamin A deficiency)... the golden rice proponents were obscuring the larger issue of a lack of broad availability of diverse and nutritionally adequate sources of food."

Aha! So we shouldn't focus on creating better rice but rather on solving food shortages and other political issues. A fair point, except it's cruel to the people who are suffering NOW. Yes we can stand on a soapbox and push for better food policy and human rights issues, but why not, oh I don't know - stop a few people from going blind along the way? Certainly they could be parallel projects is what I'm saying.

By the way, during my college protest days I used to hand out those "Frosted Fakes" cards (see graphic) at my college cafeteria.

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