Touted as the solution to Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in developing countries, Golden Rice patent owner Syngenta – now owned by ChemChina – has been funding field trials in Bangladesh and Philippines. Farmer groups from both countries, however, have taken the streets and uprooted the crops in response. International green and rural groups have also expressed opposition to the Golden Rice initiative as its health and environmental risks were not properly measured.
“The farmers group of Hacienda Medina have been fighting for their right to the land. Maneuvers by Uy have endangered their families and their livelihood,” said NFSW. “Land related killings have been escalating in the province. Berallano is the third NFSW member slain and the 27th victim of political killing in Negros,” the federation added.
“Instead of tackling the root causes of these conflicts – landlessness and absence of social justice, these governments time and time again side with the landgrabbers and unleash its brutal onslaught to the struggling farmers. But as LCP puts it, ‘el terror no se detendrá la lucha por la tierra’ [Terror will not stop the fight for land].”
We are alarmed by these approvals as they set the stage for the commercial production and distribution of Golden Rice in Asia, particularly in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines where rice is a staple food. We continue to challenge the false claim that Golden Rice, genetically-engineered to produce beta carotene, will help address the high incidence of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in these rice-producing and consuming countries.