Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rice...you're next!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has approved $20 million in new monies toward the development of "golden rice" -- an untested, highly controversial GE (genetically engineered) crop that threatens biodiversity and risks bringing economic and ecological disaster to Asia's farms.

Sarojeni V. Rengam, executive director of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), has called the rice a "Trojan horse." According to Rengam, the rice is "... a public relations stunt pulled by the agri-business corporations to garner acceptance of GE crops and food. The whole idea of GE seeds is to make money."

In Thailand at least, however, a little known and unpublicized agricultural policy protects Thai rice from the risks of GMO's. The Thai Ministry of Agriculture's "Rice Strategy" is a master plan committed to strengthening the nation's rice production while promoting farmers' livelihoods and consumer confidence -- which includes keeping Thai rice GMO free.

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