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by  |  15-Jun-2016 01:07

Did you hear that a group of 400 angry farmers attacked and destroyed a field trial of genetically modified rice in the Philippines this month? The crop was actually destroyed by a small number of activists while farmers who had been bussed in to attend the event looked on in dismay.

to BBC News, based on false claims by the activists. In support of the vandals, Greenpeace has claimed that there are health concerns about the genetically modified rice.

In fact there is no evidence of risk, and the destruction of this field trial could lead to needless deaths.

This vital nutrient is missing from the diets of millions of rice-dependent people in poor countries, where vitamin A deficiency leads to preventable blindness and death on a massive scale.

The golden rice trial was being conducted by the government’s Philippine Rice Research Institute, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and other public sector partners—contrary to the activists’ accusations, there is no private corporate involvement.

In an exclusive interview at IRRI in Los Baños, I spoke to the golden rice project senior manager Raul Boncodin, who personally witnessed the attack on the morning of Aug.

8.* IRRI also provided photos of the attack; this is the first time they have been seen outside of the Philippines.

Boncodin had traveled to the field site because the researchers had been expecting a rally and a dialogue with activists, he told me. " There is additional evidence beyond the physical appearance of the activists.

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