Laureates react to Award to Golden Rice researchers by the White House

News 20.04.2015

The White House’s decision to award the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s humanitarian prize to Golden Rice researchers has been critically received by biodiversity experts Vandana Shiva (1993 Laureate) and Frances Moore Lappé (1987 Laureate).

Shiva commented:”Golden Rice is the Emperor who has no clothes. Since 1985 the promoters have been promising the miracle, but it is still far from introduction. In any case it is hundreds of percent less efficient than biodiversity alternatives in providing Vitamin A. Because the malnutrition crisis is so severe, we cannot waste time and resources on false promises. We need real solutions – now. The White House ‘award’ to Golden Rice is a desperate attempt to promote failed GMOs and a flawed patent regime which defines seeds as ‘inventions’.”

Moore Lappé added that “genetically modifying rice to cure nutrient deficiency is a tragic diversion. The solution to nutrient deficiency is to be found not in the laboratory but in the realization of the right to healthy food for all people.”

Just a few weeks ago, 39 Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award had endorsed a declaration on the future of nutrition, rejecting the “false promises” corporations are proposing in the Global South.

Read more about the declaration.

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