Golden Lies: No credibility for Golden Rice campaign

After many years of development, Golden Rice is still not on the market. Initially it was thought that the commercial cultivation of Golden Rice would start in 2012. However, in 2013 this plan was once again postponed for several years, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) coordinating the project admitted for the first time in public that crucial data for risk assessment were still missing.

The current delay might have been triggered by a scandal involving Chinese school children: Chinese scientists were sacked and families received financial compensation after neither the children nor the parents were informed about a trial in which the school children were fed with the genetically engineered rice.

Nevertheless, some well-known advocates of the Golden Rice project such as Ingo Potrykus, one of the inventors of the rice, are still pushing for immediate market authorisation. In the meantime, the advocates of this product appear to have divided opinions. Some have gone as far as to say that government agencies and critics will be complicit in instigating a “Holocaust” (Chassy, 2010) or a crime against humanity if they prevent the introduction of Golden Rice. To speed up market approval and limit expenses, they are campaigning for a general lowering of standards for the risk assessment of genetically engineered plants.

A Testbiotech background shows that those involved in the Golden Rice project have demonstrated a complete lack of regard for necessary scientific accuracy and precision. Over many years they have used propaganda which was unacceptable from an ethical point of view. In doing so, they have sought to use the project to increase the pressure on regulatory authorities and accelerate the introduction of agricultural biotechnology.