It's a shame that newspapers are allowed to print this nonsense about Vitamin A and GMO's ... but I suppose if it was not nonsense, then it would not sell.
It offers a very narrow perspective that follows the thought process of industrialisation which has been taught in universities for the last 100 years or so.
Anti GM's are not against the technology as such, they are against the technology as a main source of food and nutrition, especially where other solutions are more effective.
When last did you read an article that somebody like Greenpeace was against synthetic rennet - almost all the cheese in the world uses rennet derived from GM technology?
Ever heard Greenpeace or the like say that that GM may not be the right technology to grow food on Mars?
Anti GM's don't have a total problem with the technology itself, so the comment "anti GM lobby which persists in the argument that all genetically altered organisms are a violation of the natural order ..." is simply blatant misinformation.
Many of our drugs are made using GM technology - ever heard the likes of Greenpeace say that they are totally against drugs made with GM technology? Here is an example, for quick reference, of a drug made from GM carrots.
Golden Rice, as a source of Vitamin A, did not fail because of anti GM, it failed because it was unsustainable and unable to deliver an alternative that made a difference to existing structures already in place.
The likes of Greenpeace only served to ensure that this message was well publicised otherwise the nutritionally starved consumers (targeted for the project) would not have been able to make the decision themselves because they would never have been told.
Pro GM would then have made very bold misleading statements saying that they solved the Vitamin A deficiency problem in the Philippines. What really would have happened is that they unleashed a technology that produces random proteins, it contaminates other wild and conventional species, reduces biodiversity, and most importantly, keeps the people uneducated in terms of knowing other sources of Vitamin A.
Mainstream media then twisted this event to portray the likes of Greenpeace as anti-humanitarian. Greenpeace's real problem is that they are dealing with a world filled mostly with self interest ignorant individuals from media, government, pro GM and gullible consumers that share this narrow perspective.
Anti GM is not against any truthful, educational and sustainable effort to reduce malnutrition. They are against untruthful and narrow minded effort which is what happened to golden rice.
This GM banana is food and nutrition suicide, just like golden rice. Banana diseases (which are not uncommon) can wipe out entire crops - let's assume that in 5 years time, a disease wipes out Uganda's banana production ... then what?
Is the Gates Foundation going to step in and fix things within a few days? Of course not, Uganda is on their own to sort it out. Biodiversity creates resilience. One crop is diseased and it does not matter. There are another 3 or 4 simultaneously on the go.
Believe it or not, there is no shortage of Vitamin A in Uganda, there is a shortage of knowledge to know which foods it exists in.
Today, the world produces food for 9 billion people ... 2 billion is wasted. The world does not need more food, the world needs better management - why does the Gates Foundation not provide money for better food management? (One reason could be that Gates's 500 000 shares with Monsanto may not pay out so well if their GM sales drop or maybe it's their narrow mindedness)
Is food and nutrition security really a seed that is mono-cropped, patented, synthetically produced and licensed? This question is only from the food and nutrition security aspect.
Unfortunately, the GMO science itself, is questionable. Altering the DNA sequence creates random RNA's and proteins ... RANDOM!!
In other words, the proteins cannot be predefined. How does one provide a toxicology report on proteins that are randomly produced?
Biased scientific thinking is that, regardless of the randomness, at the end of the day, they are all "substantially equivalent" ... and this is exactly the flaw in the science.
Science is supposed to be precise and not random. Not only that, but environmental factors contribute to the randomness of protein production.
This means a GM banana grown in USA will be different (create different proteins) to a GM banana grown in Uganda.
So the statement that they will grow and eat it in the USA to determine its safety is totally misleading. From an unbiased scientists perspective, this is just public opinion mind games (to gain support of trust) because they know it is total nonsense.
Unfortunately the likes of Gates, et al, are prostituting science for personal gain under the disguise of humanitarian assistance.
Remember the days when Agent Orange and DDT was safe? It was safe when the science was prostituted but was not so safe when the deaths and deformities started. The fact that GM is allowed to be used so openly in the world is testimony to the fact that the science used to determine the safety of DDT and Agent Orange has not changed much, compared to today. GM is in the same boat.
So what is food and nutrition security for places like Uganda, Philippines and Malawi?
But unfortunately, today's Western world has been taught that narrow minded industrialisation is the key to health (and none of those 4 points make much money either).
We just need to look at Western human health (we won't mention the environment) to see how well narrow minded industrialisation is working out ... cancers, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, Crohn's, etc, are all going up and this is what Western civilisation is offering to Uganda as a cure for Vitamin A deficiency!
Doctors have only been around for 100 years or so. Before that they were herbalists. Now herbalists are considered taboo yet they got humanity to where it was up to the early 1900's - that's thousands of years knowledge.
Industrialisation threw thousands of years of knowledge out the window and substituted it with "science based facts" that is often corrupt, manipulated and biased.
A doctor today knows nothing about nutrition, yet it is lack of nutrition that lands us up in the doctors chair - does that make any sense at all?
But mainstream consumers don't know that. And don't expect pro GM to know any better either.
Help us to keep it real.
Comments about your experiences and opinions will go a long way to helping all of us.