Standing up for GMOs


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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