(NaturalNews) Much has been said by the biotech lobby about the alleged merits of genetically modified (GM) "Golden Rice," which supposedly contains added vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene that some say could help alleviate blindness and other illnesses that plague the Third World. But a new report by GMWatch.org shows that this novel "Frankenrice" is a complete quack science fraud that does not work as claimed and is completely unnecessary.
Citing dozens of published scientific papers, reports, public admissions by insiders and other evidence to back its case, GMWatch.org deconstructs the myth that Golden Rice is at all necessary to cure the ills of the less fortunate among us. Far from the miracle panacea that its developers claim it is, Golden Rice has yet to be proven effective in vitamin A-deficient individuals, for instance, and is still orders of magnitude less viable than other methods already in existence for addressing malnutrition.
"Golden Rice is not a realistic solution to the problem of malnutrition and could well create further serious problems for the people who grow and eat it," explains GMWatch.org.
Simple green leafy vegetables have 3,500 percent more beta-carotene than Golden Rice
First unveiled nearly 14 years ago by a Swiss professor and a German researcher, Golden Rice has become something of a humanitarian icon over the years -- the "golden ticket," if you will, towards a more viable future for the world's poor and needy. The "Golden Rice Project" has received massive cash infusions over the years from the likes of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for instance, which heavily pushes vaccines as a form of population control.
But all the time, money and effort being poured into the ongoing development of Golden Rice could be used for more viable projects like simply teaching people in the Third World how to cultivate more green leafy vegetables. According to extensive research conducted by the Navdanya Research Foundation, the non-profit run by environmental and agricultural expert Dr. Vandana Shiva, leafy greens naturally contain up to 3,500 percent more beta-carotene than the piddly amount of artificial beta-carotene engineered into Golden Rice.
"World Health Organization programs to combat vitamin A deficiency are cheap, already available -- and proven to work," adds GMWatch.org. "They focus on methods such as educating people to grow green leafy vegetables in kitchen gardens, encouraging breastfeeding of babies, and giving supplements and fortified foods when necessary."
Without proper dietary fat, the body can't convert beta-carotene into usable vitamin A
Each of these methods is far less expensive to implement than developing synthetic rice that gleams orange due to artificial nutrient pigments. But practicality and efficacy do not appear to be the main priorities driving the Golden Rice agenda, which is inherently flawed in the way it is approaching the issue.
Basic science dictates that certain nutrients require other nutrients in order for the body to properly absorb them. Beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, is one such nutrient that requires the presence of dietary fat in order for the body to absorb it. What this means is that dumping untold tons of patented Golden Rice on Third World masses will be completely useless if not accompanied by large volumes of dietary fat.
"[B]eta-carotene can only be absorbed by the body if the person eats enough fat," explains GMWatch.org. "Will [Golden Rice] proponents give out dietary fat with the GR to those who need it?"
Be sure to read the full GMWatch.org report on the Golden Rice failure here: http://gmwatch.org.