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Anti-Technology Activists Jeopardize Rice Designed to Prevent Blindness

By Tom Borelli

For decades, preventing disease through plant biotechnology has been the goal of many scientists.

Millions of the world’s population suffers from blindness and disease because rice – a primary food staple – is missing the essential nutrient Vitamin A.

After years of research, scientists are now able to use technology to modify rice plants so they can make Vitamin A and alleviate a cause of disease and suffering.

While such technological advances should be hailed, tragically, environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace are leading the charge trying to block the use of the new rice variety called Golden Rice.

Amy Harmon’s article in The New York Times reviews the political clash over the use of Golden Rice in the Philippines including vandalism at a field trial of the experimental rice:

ONE bright morning this month, 400 protesters smashed down the high fences surrounding a field in the Bicol region of the Philippines and uprooted the genetically modified rice plants growing inside.

The goal of the protesters is to stop the wide spread use of Golden Rice in the Philippines.

To combat unfounded fears that threaten the development of “biofortified” crops, scientists are coming out of the lab to defend the new technology:

“It is long past time for scientists to stand up and shout, ‘No more lies — no more fear-mongering,’ ” said Nina V. Fedoroff, a professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and a former science adviser to the American secretary of state, who helped spearhead the petition. “We’re talking about saving millions of lives here.”

Let’s hope the scientific community stands up for this technology. If not, Greenpeace and other activist groups will win the day by fear-mongering about potential health and environmental threats posed by the new crops and by attacking the “greed” of the biotechnology companies that are developing these new plant varieties.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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