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More than 100 Nobel Prizes unite in pro-transgenic manifesto

In an unprecedented move, several Nobel Prize winners have organized to publicly support GMOs and ask Greenpeace to revise its position against GMOs. The announcement was made today (30/6), in the morning, in an event held in Washington, United States.


To date, 110 Nobel laureates have signed the document, which is available on the website created for the action: Support Precision Agriculture. Other award winners are expected to join, according to the movement's organizers, New England Biolabs scientific director Richard Roberts and Nobel laureate in 1993, Phillip Sharp.

The manifesto calls on Greenpeace and its supporters to "re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers around the world with crops and food modified through biotechnology, recognize the views of the scientific community and regulatory agencies and abandon the campaign against GMOs in general , Especially against golden rice. " The executive director of the Information Council on Biotechnology (CIB) and Ph.D in Biological Sciences, Adriana Brondani, supports initiative. "Throughout 20 years of global adoption and consumption of GMOs, during which time these products have been rigorously tested, there has never been any record of any injury that these foods have caused to human, animal or environmental health."


Golden rice gained its name because of its yellow coloration, a result of the genetic modification that gave it higher levels of beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 250 million people suffer from diseases caused by Vitamin A deficiency, including 40% of children under 5 living in developing countries. Based on UNICEF statistics, about two million preventable deaths occur annually as a result of the lack of this nutrient, which compromises the immune system. The main affected regions are Africa and Southeast Asia. Golden rice has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the deaths and illnesses caused by a vitamin A deficiency.


"We are researchers, we understand the logic of science. It's easy to see that Greenpeace does something harmful and unscientific by scaring people, "Richard Roberts said in an interview with the Washington Post. The letter also stresses that the scientific community and regulatory agencies have repeatedly recognized that biotechnology-enhanced foods are as safe as those developed by other methods. The most recent example of this is the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine of the United States which, in May of this year, reaffirmed that transgenics are safe for human, animal and for the environment.


Source: Redação CIB, June 30, 2016

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