At Slate (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
The True Story About Who Destroyed a Genetically Modified Rice Crop
… Did you hear that a group of 400 angry farmers attacked and destroyed a field trial of genetically modified rice in the Philippines this month? That, it turns out, was a lie. The crop was actually destroyed by a small number of activists while farmers who had been bussed in to attend the event looked on in dismay.
(“Golden rice”) is genetically enhanced to produce the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, giving it a golden color. This vital nutrient is missing from the diets of millions of rice-dependent people in poor countries, where vitamin A deficiency leads to preventable blindness and death on a massive scale.
… Vitamin A deficiency also depresses the immune system, raising overall mortality from other causes such as diarrhea, measles, and pneumonia. For these diseases the additional toll is estimated at 1 million preventable deaths a year, or around 2,700 per day, mostly among children younger than 5.
… Vitamin A deficiency is a disease of poverty. Golden rice network coordinator Gerard Barry told me it exists, “because hundreds of millions of people have access to rice in their diets, but little else.” There is universal agreement that a long-term solution can only come through eliminating extreme poverty, but in the meantime, large numbers of deaths can be prevented. As Barry says: “Millions of children are dying senselessly and needlessly from common childhood diseases because their immune system is compromised.”
Greenpeace’s position, as noted in the New York Times:
Greenpeace, for one, dismisses the benefits of vitamin supplementation through G.M.O.’s and has said it will continue to oppose all uses of biotechnology in agriculture. As Daniel Ocampo, a campaigner for the organization in the Philippines, put it, “We would rather err on the side of caution.”
You’re not erring on the side of caution if you oppose all uses of biotech; you’re bound and determined to stop an important area of human progress.
While Greenpeace and enviro organizations’ hired Luddites destroy the results of others’ painstaking research, children die. They’re fine with that, once again showing that the left’s claim of a monopoly on “compassion” is a sick joke.
There’s a media bias/ignorance angle to all of this I may get to later, but for now, this exposure will suffice.