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Canadian academic dismisses Golden Rice

Canadian academic dismisses Golden Rice as a “PR initiative”

Key scientific witness for the organics movement, Associate Professor Ann Clark, today told the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification that vitamin A enhanced Golden Rice is only a “PR initiative to humanise genetic engineering.”

Under cross-examination by Chris Hodson QC, Professor Clark said Golden Rice was dreamt up by the biotech companies to put a “good face” on genetic modification and that it would not deliver benefits to millions of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency in Asia.

She described the initiative as “spitting in the wind” and that the people were “too poor” to be able to afford the new strains of rice and “too ignorant of their sources of food to be able to identify other, local sources of vitamin A.”

Professor Clark blamed the vitamin A deficiency on urbanisation in third world countries.

At a later point she said she could not “conceptualise of a company which would develop specific products which would have relevance to the 3rd world and its agricultural systems.”

When questioned about her assertions about food safety and crops the Professor acknowledged to Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, Royal Commission Chairman, that she was not competent to comment on food safety testing procedures.

For further information, contact:

Dr William Rolleston Francis Wevers
Interim Chairman Executive Director

Phone 03 612 6688 Phone 04 916 0100
Mobile 025 2460634 Mobile 021 916010

Date: Monday, 4 December 2000

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