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May 20, 2012

Y2Kyoto: State Of Anorexia Envirosa

Via Instapundit;

Vitamin A deficiency affects the immune system, leading to illness and frequently to blindness. It probably causes more deaths than malaria, HIV or tuberculosis, killing as many people every single day as the Fukushima tsunami. It can be solved by eating green vegetables and meat, but for many poor Asians, who can afford only rice, that remains an impossible dream. To deal with the problem, “biofortification” with genetically modified food plants is 1/10th as costly as dietary supplements.

“Golden rice”—with two extra genes to make beta-carotene, the raw material for vitamin A—was a technical triumph, identical to ordinary rice except in color. Painstaking negotiations led to companies waiving their patent rights so the plant could be grown and regrown free by anybody.

Yet today, 14 years later, it still has not been licensed to growers anywhere in the world. The reason is regulatory red tape deliberately imposed to appease the opponents of genetic modification, which Adrian Dubock, head of the golden rice project, describes as “a witch-hunt for suspected theoretical environmental problems…[because] many activist NGOs thought that genetically engineered crops should be opposed as part of their anti-globalization agenda.”

It is surprising to find that an effective solution to the problem consistently rated by experts as the poor world’s highest priority has been stubbornly opposed by so many pressure groups supposedly acting on behalf of the poor.

Posted by Kate at May 20, 2012 7:25 AM
Comments

How are all those UN and NGO apparatchiks going to keep their cinecures if some d@mn scientist comes along and solves the problem?

Posted by: The Phantom at May 20, 2012 8:23 AM

Environuts make the muslim "takiya" practice seem amateurish.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Winston Spenser Churchill

Posted by: sasquatch at May 20, 2012 9:01 AM

Remember it's Harper and the Conservatives that don't know science.

I didn't know that a billion people have died from global warming in the last decade.

That the glyphosate (Roundup) I use to virtually eliminate soil erosion and reduce fossil fuel use is evil.

That a baby is not alive before birth.

That a person's place of birth can drift by thousands of miles in a few years.

And I don't know why people should grow up walking in blindness instead of eating golden rice.

Posted by: WalterF at May 20, 2012 9:04 AM

When I first heard about this issue (not too long ago via SDA) I was so disheartened. And of course amazed, but because of the way the world is today.

Every once in a while, I do something "stupid" with my kids (like play outside without sunscreen), just so we all feel free for a little while.

Good on you Kate for getting this story to eyes.

Posted by: Jason at May 20, 2012 9:50 AM

I believe that PM Harper and the Conservatives do know science and the difference between real science and the pseudo-science so prevalent in the left nowadays. It is just that brainless followers do not do their due diligence and find out if the claims of global warming, sea ice melting are real before jumping on the noisy bandwagon.

Posted by: denis at May 20, 2012 9:50 AM

Golden rice isn't the half of it in terms of the developments science has brought in producing higher yielding and healthier varieties of grains and such.

In a sense though, blocking these developments does help the eco-nuts achieve one of their primary goals - population control.

Posted by: John at May 20, 2012 9:53 AM

I wonder what happened to he left"s favorite chestnut, "If it saves just one life, it's worth it"?

Posted by: Gus at May 20, 2012 10:08 AM

Not surprising at all. Starting with the ban on DDT and the resulting millions of malaria deaths, the spoiled rich brats that comprise the "environmental" movement have never hesitated to sacrifice the world's poorest and weakest in order to cash in on the scare-tactic scams that are their stock in trade. Greens lie, people die.

Posted by: DrD at May 20, 2012 10:16 AM

Greens are evil. Green kills.

Posted by: John Lewis at May 20, 2012 10:18 AM

The problems of the poor in poor countries are mainly because of their governments. Rice, golden or otherwise, won't fix that.

Posted by: fiddle at May 20, 2012 10:51 AM

My career was as a crop agronomist (and writer, photographer, fly-fisherman, market gardener etc etc) and for ~25 years worked with the potato industry in Alberta (elsewhere in Canada and in China). You may recall the hollering and whining and generally negative reaction to the introduction of GMO potatoes. The GMO spuds had a gene installed that produced a protein that is toxic to Colorado potato beetles. In eastern North American potatoes are sprayed with insecticides 10 X or more for CPB. The GM spud development all but eliminated the spraying. Great news right?!

Well no, the outcry form the media and weenies forced the developer to withdraw the GMO varieties and today NONE are grown anywhere in the world. Such a shame. Apparently, there is some Bt cotton and corn produced today.

The absurdity is that the gene in question was taken from the bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis aka Bt. Bt is touted by organic promoters as a safe treatment for a range of insect pests in crops. The bacteria is sprayed right on the food crops. Yet it is claimed to be unsafe when used inside crops. Nonsense.

There is a good discussion at Wiki on Bt GM crops...a balanced discussion that is not something you always read at Wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis

Posted by: Clive at May 20, 2012 10:57 AM

Why do you need to increase population so badly?
Not enough people to rob or what?

Posted by: Censored at May 20, 2012 11:04 AM

More than half of the grains and oilseeds grown in Canada today are genetically modified varietals. With Canola I believe it's pushing 90%. Please don't tell anyone though...

Posted by: turtle at May 20, 2012 11:11 AM

Fiddle is EXACTLY on the mark.
Watch out for a pied piper that will supposedly fix everything. Where have we heard that one before?

I don't like GMO. That doesn't make me a bad guy.

Some people a too quick to trust "the experts".
Fish genes in food, goats producing silk etc.Thats bullshit.

Some screwup will get out of a lab and go viral, if it already hasn't.

Posted by: eastern paul at May 20, 2012 11:16 AM

We all know its to keep the Population down by the greens with their ideals of a pure Earth before mankind.Whom they see as a disease on the planet. People be damned.

Certain interests have monopolies they don't want broken.

As always governments of a totalitarian nature use food production to subdue the populace.A malnourished group is less likely to revolt.
Its shows you just how sick the World has become when abortion is a higher ranking concern than blindness.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at May 20, 2012 11:34 AM

Genocidal maniacs

Posted by: marco at May 20, 2012 11:41 AM

There are a lot of concerns to be addressed with the GMO foods produced by big agra, but this is not one of them. This is a GMO food that spliced DNA from 2 normal natural foods the human body is used to ingesting, and it has a philanthopist for an owner who is willing to allow the free use of his patent sees in needy nations - what's to hang this up" Bureaucracy and corporatism who hate the idea of a patented GMO seed being given away.

Posted by: Occam at May 20, 2012 11:50 AM

Golden rice means healthier Asian's. Healthier Asians mean more carbon emitters, car owners, coal factories etcetera.

Also according to WK is means less cats, and most greenies like lots of cats around.

Posted by: Knight 99 at May 20, 2012 12:00 PM

The 'greenies's want to go back to a simpler time when everyone was happy and we frolicked together with the approval of mother Nature.

However,don't try to take away their I-pads,those are "2 legs good" science.

Posted by: wallyj at May 20, 2012 12:42 PM

If people owned property they could grow whatever they wished to grow. This Golden rice would be popular, there would be a demand and the producers would answer that demand. Simple.

Envy is green. Rule of thumb. The squawking 'regulators' do not want anyone to succeed or enjoy life, they don't have the brains to enjoy life and they want all of the rest of us to be equally miserable. The 'regulators' hate people and throw a hissy fit if they see any human enjoying life. A pinko with $$ is a threat to all mankind.

Posted by: Jema54 at May 20, 2012 12:43 PM

Take it from a guy who was on the inside.

"But not all my former colleagues saw things that way. Many environmentalists rejected consensus politics and sustainable development in favor of continued confrontation, ever-increasing extremism, and left-wing politics." Patrick Moore, 2007)

Sorta explains why their is no end to the crazy ideas they keep coming up with.

http://www.american.com/archive/2007/october-10-07/how-to-fight-childhood-blindness

Posted by: ron in kelowna ∴ at May 20, 2012 12:43 PM

Hopefully our government is beginning to push back against the Greenshirts. May others follow.

They have given themselves the to dictate to the world what they can and cannot do. They represent the world, the planet and life itself, according to them.

I remember a (probably apocryphal) story about a US Senator being interviewed by a journalist rather aggressively. The journalist said "I must have an answer (or somesuch) .. I represent the people"

"No Sir" retorted the Senator, "I represent the People; you represent your editor".

Posted by: Robert of Ottawa at May 20, 2012 1:01 PM

"Occam at May 20, 2012 11:50 AM"

Blaming this on corporate greed is so convoluted an argument that it's hard to believe anyone of normal intelligence would even float the idea. Seriously, did you just forget the 'sarc' tag?

The owner of the patent GAVE IT AWAY. The people stopping the distribution and growing of the life-saving rice are activists working with NGO's.

As with so many other products withdrawn or withheld from desperate 3rd-world countries, this is about population control. The world has too many little brown people, this helps remove some of them.

Posted by: iurockhead at May 20, 2012 1:02 PM

Censored, better to kill them than rob them, eh?

Posted by: Robert of Ottawa at May 20, 2012 1:08 PM

Greenies despise the poor and marginalized.

They are useless for fundraising and are too busy surviving to listen to the eco hysterical screams from the Greenie Fruits & Nutters.

Posted by: Fred at May 20, 2012 1:30 PM

The biggest opposition to golden rice came from Greenpeace, which stated:

"Greenpeace opposes the release of any genetically modified organisms into the environment, and is concerned that golden rice is a Pandora's Box that will open the door to more widespread use of GMO's."

There you have it. Whales they understand. Vitamin A is over their heads and being beaten up in rice paddies by the locals that see them as flakes is not what they volunteered for. Rice paddies are also too shallow for their sexy new boats. You can see the quandary.

Posted by: peterj at May 20, 2012 1:37 PM

Some advocacy group should pull adverts spelling out the death toll from GM bans. A 'be Breitbart' kind of advert.

Posted by: LAS at May 20, 2012 1:41 PM

Hey Robert of Ottawa, both those guys were lying.

Posted by: Mkelley at May 20, 2012 1:47 PM

"Fish genes in food, goats producing silk etc.Thats bullshit."

It is, but not in the way you mean it. And you post this every time.

Posted by: wyatt ironbridge at May 20, 2012 1:48 PM

"There are a lot of concerns to be addressed with the GMO foods produced by big agra.." Occam

Please name them, Occam.

Posted by: small c conservative at May 20, 2012 1:50 PM

The EU is a major reason that golden rice is not grown. They stipulate that any food that does not meet the watermelon's approval be traceable throughout the distribution chain.

Posted by: small c conservative at May 20, 2012 1:56 PM

This discussion eventually leads to the question: Are Republicans or Democrats More Anti-science?

"Berezow acknowledged that a lot prominent Republican politicians including—would-be presidential candidates—deny biological evolution, are skeptical of the scientific consensus on man-made global warming, and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells. As evidence for Democratic anti-science intransigence, Berezow argued that progressives tend to be more anti-vaccine, anti-biotechnology when it comes to food, anti-biomedical research involving tests on animals, and anti-nuclear power."
http://reason.com/archives/2011/10/04/more-anti-science-democrats-or

I think that the list for progressives would also have to include long-held 'scientific' fears that have failed to happen - peak oil, catastrophic overpopulation, chemical Armageddon and rampant Oliver Twist capitalism (social science).

If you look at the two lists and rated each for its impact on humans then, clearly, the progressives are a greater threat to humanity. Vaccinations, bio-technology, fossil fuels and free markets have all immeasurably benefited human development. OTOH, Creationism is pretty benign. Skepticism about C-AGW (given the failure of peak oil, overpop etc.) is sensible. The stem cell issue was harmful but, in the end, science found other stem cell sources to work with.

Is it rude to point out that libertarians are less anti-science than either of the other two groups?

Posted by: LC Bennett at May 20, 2012 1:56 PM

"It is surprising to find that an effective solution to the problem consistently rated by experts as the poor world’s highest priority has been stubbornly opposed by so many pressure groups supposedly acting on behalf of the poor."

Not at all surprising. 'Entirely predictable' would be a better descriptor.

Whether it's supplying third world countries with hydro-electricity; managing forest resources; or giving them enough protein to live on, the eco-parasites are always lined up in opposition.

There is an automatic conceit that a bare-arsed native is better off dying at age 40 from proteien deficiency or tapeworms, than living to a ripe old age with modern conveniences.

It's a case of ideology trumping humanity.

Posted by: Jamie MacMaster at May 20, 2012 1:58 PM

Is it rude to point out that libertarians are less anti-science than either of the other two groups? LC Bennett

Hard to believe you consider being " pro-science " as you characterize it, is the be-all and end-all judgement for judging political parties.

I disagree. It is wrong for a society to conscript citizens into crusades they consider fundamentally wrong, which is what the drive to legalize growing human embryos for the purpose of ultimately " harmonizing, aimed for.

Posted by: small c conservative at May 20, 2012 2:08 PM

Is it rude to point out that libertarians are less anti-science than either of the other two groups? LC Bennett

Hard to believe you consider being " pro-science " as you characterize it, is the be-all and end-all judgement for judging political parties.

I disagree. It is wrong for a society to conscript citizens into crusades they consider fundamentally wrong, which is what the drive to legalize growing human embryos for the purpose of ultimately " harvesting " human stem cells aimed for.

Posted by: small c conservative at May 20, 2012 2:12 PM

Actually, I am a pro-life libertarian (which is somewhat different that a pro-life social conservative, BTW). Stem cell research has the potential to be a breakthrough in medicine. But, as is often the case, rather seeing the need for fetal cells as technical problem to be solved it turned into weapon for the right and left to beat each other the head with, an activity that they never seem to tire of.

Posted by: LC Bennett at May 20, 2012 2:58 PM

Speaking of "The Avengers" I recently was in Phoenix AZ where I decided I would go see it with some friends. Highlight of the night was during the trailers when "The Dictator" was shown and some in the crowd booed when Obama's face appeared on the screen.

Posted by: free millton at May 20, 2012 3:33 PM

free millton, that's why I say Obama is done like dinner. You see that -everywhere-.

It isn't just Arizona, I've heard anti-Obama ranting start up spontaneously in a California grocery store. Two total strangers looking at some new higher price for celery (in California, where all the d@mn celery in North America comes from), one of them says something about it being Barry's fault, the other guy says "hell yes!" and ten people standing around them nod and say "uh huh!"

Posted by: The Phantom at May 20, 2012 5:06 PM

fiddle nails it @ 10:51

This from below the article on Instapundit says it all, "The Greenshirts don’t care about the poor. They don’t like humanity."

DrD, yes and Clive, thanks for that. Instapundit's comment from above covers it all.

Jamie @ 1:58, and the imposition of Agenda 21 will make it worse.

Posted by: Ken (Kulak) at May 20, 2012 6:53 PM

It's the politics that starves people, not the lack of food.

I have seen rice paddies only twenty kilometers outside of a major city centre that can feed everyone in that city centre. Yet two hours from Seoul, people are starving to death.

The math is simple.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at May 20, 2012 7:40 PM

Get out of the UN ... stop sending money and food to impoversished nations (which ends up feeding and enbling their thieving thug governments) ... and send guns and ammo instead.

Not showing up for a revolution is a failed conservative policy.

Posted by: OMMAG at May 21, 2012 6:31 PM
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