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Greenpeace's campaign against genetically-modified golden rice is a crime against humanity, one of the group's founders says.
Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace International director and co-founder of the group, says Greenpeace and its allies have prevented the introduction of golden rice over a decade, claiming it might have environmental and health risks.
Numerous studies show golden rice, developed by Swiss scientist Dr Ingo Potrykus and his colleagues, can eliminate vitamin A deficiency, he says.
The rice contains beta-carotene in the kernel, which the human body converts to vitamin A.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is backing field trials in Philippines and Bangladesh, Dr Moore says.
The World Health Organisation says up to 500,000 children a year go blind due to the lack of the essential nutrient – and half die within a year.
In a column in today's print edition of The National Business Review, Dr Moore says Greenpeace has aggressively spread misinformation about golden rice, claiming there are better ways to alleviate vitamin A deficiency.
He says there is "zero evidence" of possible harm from biotechnology, including genetic modification.
"It is clear by the facts that Greenpeace is guilty of crimes against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court.
"Greenpeace claims golden rice is a failure while they are the ones responsible for preventing the cure that is so desperately needed by millions of civilians."
Elsewhere in today's new-look full colour print edition, NBR economics editor Rob Hosking reports retail banks could force Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler's hand on interest rates.
Also, South Canterbury Finance liquidators have uncovered further questionable transactions which they are now discussing with counterparties to those deals.