The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) joins the Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PANAP) in its call to Save Our Rice and Stop the spread of the harmful Golden Rice. Please support this campaign and sign the petition below:
Golden Rice (GR) is a rice genetically engineered to produce beta carotene. Syngenta acquired patent rights over GR 1 and then developed GR 2 itself. A Golden Rice Network was subsequently set up, based at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) which has been actively involved in further developing and pushing GR. The public relations pitch in promoting GR is that it will supposedly cure Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) which can lead to blindness as well as compromise the immune system significantly. However, its proponents fail to consider the real causes of VAD namely, poverty and the loss of biodiversity which is essential for a healthy diet for the poor especially. They also fail to the considerable risks to health and the environment attached to genetically engineered crops/food. GR is a grave threat to the health of rice-eating Asians and our traditional and farmer-bred rice varieties. It is nothing more than a Trojan Horse ploy by agribusiness corporations and IRRI to get public approval of genetically engineered crops/food.
GR is being field tested in Bangladesh and the Philippines and the most recent news is that it will be tested in Pakistan as well. We have to stop this. Rice is Life in Asia. If any of these countries approves the commercial growing of Golden Rice, it will spread throughout Asia and even to other parts of the world either via cultivation or export. So although Golden Rice may not be an immediate threat in your country, we need to build SOLIDARITY across the globe against Golden Rice as it represents GE rice in general. GR is a serious threat to our food safety and food sovereignty.
Unfortunately IRRI has received millions of dollars in donation from the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Helen Keller Foundation to develop Golden Rice. Attached is a draft letter to the Helen Keller Foundation putting forward our concerns on Golden Rice as civil society and calling for the withdrawal of support to IRRI for the development of GR.
Please join us in signing on to this letter to stop the development of Golden Rice.
Just signify your agreement to be cited as a signatory and give us your organization’s name and country – please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 October 2011.
Let us unite to stop the promotion of genetically engineered crops and food in our world.
SAVE OUR RICE!
Thank you and best regards,
Sarojeni V. Rengam
Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific