The researchers named several reasons for the poor performance of Golden Rice, one of which being, that the new gene interferes with the plant’s gene that produces growth hormones. In addition, the new gene was not solely active in the kernels as it was intended, but also in the leaves. Both issues caused a substantial reduction in the amount of chlorophyll which is essential for the life of the plant.
Interestingly enough, these unintended effects were not detected in previous experiments. And Golden Rice was advertised as being a crop that would be genetically stable.
For years, Golden Rice has been hyped by the GMO lobby, Big Ag corporations and the “charitable” NGO community as the miracle that would save the third world from vitamin A deficiency, blindness and starvation. But so far, as is the case with most GMO crops, golden rice has produced nothing.
Instead, it seems that years of repeating the term Golden Rice in relation to saving the world and painting anti-GMO activists as stubbornly forcing the third world to starve is mainly more effective as a PR campaign than anything else.
Big corporations and NGOs run by bankers and financiers could not care less about starvation in the third world. After all, banks and corporations are largely the reason why Africans live on a continent of unimaginable abundance yet starve to death on a daily basis.
If vitamin A deficiency is an issue and it certainly is, the answer is not to destroy the environment and genetically engineer a shaky and undependable toxic form of rice, it is quite simply to introduce a different species of rice that contains vitamin A. In many countries, it is the lack of availability of food – due to economic policy and financial interests – that is the reason so many suffer from malnutrition.
Golden Rice is not an answer to that problem – it is making that problem worse while producing good PR and billion-dollar profits from major corporations. This foolish adventure needs to be abandoned immediately and real solutions need to be examined.