When it comes to the foods we eat, Americans and the rest of the world are treading a fine line between FDA-approved healthiness and the effects of dangerously greedy companies concerned only with lining their pockets with green. In an effort to produce stronger, pest-resistant crops and intentionally prevent Mother Nature from doing her duty, big business is constantly finding ways to cut corners. Most recently, the issue of GMO (genetically modified) rice being tested on kids without a parent’s consent is stirring up heated debates regarding a biotech invention known as ‘Golden Rice.’
‘Golden Rice’ is supposedly technology’s answer to putting a dent in malnutrition and starvation around the world, as the product is purposefully enhanced with beta-carotene. It’s a new concept…one that needed testing on humans to evaluate the effects. However, scientists decided that testing of the product would occur under false pretenses. During the testing process, unapproved ‘Golden Rice’ was tried out on children without authorization. Although the GMO study took place in China, it was interestingly funded by none other than the USDA. The entire fiasco is a serious breach of ethics.
Information about what is being called a scandal over a ‘potentially dangerous product’ was first revealed to the general public by Greenpeace China, which called the study a “clear and serious ethics violation.” In response to the accusations, researchers from Tufts University admitted that their lead scientist on the project had broken rules of disclosure regarding the testing of human subjects. Despite the controversy hanging over the study, the researchers continue to stand by the product, and state that their findings concerning B-carotene and vitamin A in the ‘Golden Rice’ are still beneficial for children.
A special documentary which conducted an investigation on the rice revealed the exchange of emails involving a Chinese CDC (Center for Disease Control) official who opted not to mention that the Golden Rice was a genetically modified product. It was reported that the claim was omitted because it was deemed ‘too sensitive’ of a topic to discuss with the parents of children who were given the GMO rice.
Is this a good enough reason not to reveal the true origin or chemical makeup of a product? Or is there something to hide? If Golden Rice is supposedly healthy and safe, why feel the need to intentionally hide details about the product? Many parents are seeking answers, and some want a guarantee that the rice will not affect the health of their kids.
Also, those who conducted the study and reported the findings not only broke rules of disclosure, but they are also being accused of falsifying information. It seems there are discrepancies regarding just how much of the Golden Rice the children were given to eat – only once during the study, or every day for lunch during the study, which lasted three weeks. According to a paper written on the study, the children ate the rice for lunch every day. Yet, researchers are now stating that the kids only ate the rice once. Whatever angle you look at the situation, you’ll find that someone is lying and trying to cover something up.