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Green activist alleges NGOs 'blindly' opposing Golden Rice

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

NGOs like Greenpeace are opposing genetically engineered 'Golden Rice' without any basis, green activist Patrick Moore alleged today while pitching for its cultivation.

Interestingly, Moore himself was a co-founder of Greenpeace International but later disassociated with the NGO in 1986 due to differences of opinion. He alleged that the Greenpeace is "raising money to oppose 'Golden Rice' without any basis and offering alternatives to address malnutrition".

He claimed that the Golden Rice' will address vitamin A deficiency issue in India and other parts of the world.

"I am campaigning only for 'Golden Rice' and not for other genetically modified (GM) crops. I am supporting because many scientific bodies say that 'Golden Rice' is a solution to address the problem related to high incidence of vitamin A deficiency in India and other parts of the world," Moore, who is in India to promote this genetically engineered (GE) rice.

When sought response to the charge, Greenpeace Campaigner Manvendra Singh Inaniya said" "Golden Rice has simply been a marketing gimmick of the GM industry to garner support for a controversial technology. GE Golden rice has been in development for over 20 years and still not proven to be effective in stopping Vitamin A deficiency."

Moore also said that his tour to promote the positive message of 'Golden Rice' has been met with "heavy resistance from anti-capitalist activists, 20 of which have been joined forces to oppose our Indian leg of our tour".

"Golden Rice is the obvious cure (for vitamin A deficiency which causes blindness) but because it was created with genetic science, Greenpeace and anti-GMO movement fervently oppose it. No country has approved it for cultivation," Moore said.

Stating that "blind opposition" to 'Golden Rice' is "immoral and illegal", he demanded that Greenpeace should drop its opposition to Golden Rice.

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First Published: Mon, March 16 2015. 20:07 IST