The Controversy Over Golden Rice
Within a world where people are free to hold their own beliefs, whether it is religious or scientific, the two never coalesce as one. The conflict between the two is subjective. While the statistics says one thing, the bible says another. A man who dedicated himself to doing good deeds in life will be worshipped a saint, but having tampered with a gene in food for a healthier future is wrong in the eyes of God.
In the recent decade, GMOs has been a subject of discussion that sparked its audiences’ interests. While some are apathetic to the topic, others are either infuriated or supportive. According to the website article, GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms, which are genetically engineered biological entities whose DNA has been altered by the use of another’s gene spliced into theirs (“Frequently Asked,” 2014). When the GMO is integrated to a food source, the food itself has become “genetically modified.” Golden Rice is a prime example of this in having the beta-carotene gene extracted from carrots spliced into its DNA (Ropiek, 2014). To add from David Ropiek’s article, “Golden Rice Opponents Should Be Held Accountable for Health Problems Linked to Vitamin A Deficiency,” the incorporation of the beta-carotene gene was to help deter the effects of Vitamin A Deficiency issues that are prominent amongst poorer countries. Although this sounds like a miracle, some support the cause while others are completely against it.
Individuals who are against the Golden Rice Project have several reasons to support their claims. One reason for why Anti-GMO activists are against the Golden Rice is that it goes against religious beliefs. Best said by the Green Peace Organization, “It is irresponsible to impose GE ‘Golden rice on people if it goes against their religious beliefs, cultural heritage and sense of identity, or simply because they do not want it” (“Golden Rice,” 2014). As taught in churches, it is a sin to tamper with “God’s Creation.” Anything manipulated out of its natural state goes against what the Bible says. Furthermore, the situation becomes immoral when the impoverished cannot afford other healthy alternatives, but the low-cost genetically modified foods to obtain their nutrients to sustain their diet from health issues. They are forced to eat the food that is cheapest in order to prevent illnesses. Another reason why the activists are against the project is that it can pose a risk to the environment (Eisenstein, 2014). It is essential to maintain biodiversity within an environment, but planting Golden Rice crops will corrupt it. The main concern is genetically modified food dominating over organic products. Genetically modified foods have the potential to decrease the diversity of the environment. There are many reasons as to why Golden Rice should not exist, but there are the positives.
Activists who are with the Golden Rice Project have reasons in regards to the benefits. The main goal of the project is to provide nourishment to those having Vitamin A Deficiency. Vitamin A Deficiency can lead to serious disorders such as blindness, reduction in immune responses and other debilitative effects (“Vitamin A Deficiency,” 2005). Golden rice is a preventative for future health problems. This can save the lives of many individuals in poverty-stricken countries such as Asia. The research on Golden Rice can be an innovative path leading to other studies be performed in making nutrient-rich genetically modified foods.
In reviewing all the contents about the Golden Rice Project, from the pros and cons, I see the benefits outweighing the risks. Although there are many stigmas attached to genetically modified foods, using them to our advantage would be beneficial in saving others and ourselves from future health complications. Despite the stigmas, if it can rescue people from crippling diseases then it should be enforced. Why be against something that can prevent others from harm? It is counter-productive to the cause and lives are being lost over I sincerely believe that if society free itself of ignorance and try it, they would see some positive outcomes.