Science

Standing up for GMOs

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Bruce Alberts et al.

Are science and new technology the answer to problems of malnutrition that plague large parts of the world?  The recent debate surrounding Golden Rice, a GMO strain designed to contain beta carotene, and so capable of preventing the 1.9 – 2.8 million deaths annually from Vitamin A deficiency, has brought the question into sharp relief. 

In this article from Science Magazine, a group of prominent scientists speaks out against the recent destruction by protesters of a Golden Rice field-trial in the Philippines, claiming that western NGOs, including Greenpeace, supported the protest and have hampered the development of Golden Rice out of self-interest.  This thread from The Guardian suggests a complex situation in which those opposed to Golden Rice are concerned both with its safety and with whether a mono-crop solution is the right one for tackling nutritional deficiencies.  The issue deserves a prominent place in Christian debate as Christians seek to determine where to give moral and financial support in global aid and development.   

How do we strike a balance between applying science and technology to a problem like global malnutrition and remaining concerned to solve the relational, political, and socio-economic problems that could also be contributing?  

If there is a concern about the long-term safety and sustainability of a technology like Golden Rice, is there a way to use it to save lives in the short-term without committing to its long-term use?

Source: Science Magazine

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