You quoted Jim Duke:
> In SE Asia, 70% of children under 5 are deficient in Vitamin A.
> UNICEF predicts that improved vitamin A nutrition could prevent 1 to
> 2 million deaths each year among 1-4 year olds alone. Worldwide, an
> estimated 124 million children are vit-A-deficient. Low-tech
> solution: Manually harvest the edible weeds and add it to unprocessed
> rice. Starving carotenoid-deprived families can afford this logical
We all know that we should eat our vegetables, but some people don't for a
variety of reasons. Many rice-eaters are quite particular about their rice,
and simply won't add enough vegetables to their rice.
> High-tech solution: Kill weeds with weedicides; genetically modify
> rice so it is tolerant to the DuNovSanto weedicide; genetically
> engineer rice to make its own carotenoid; buy your fertilizers,
> pesticides and GMO seeds...
Duke is pursuing a straw-man argument here. The proposal is to get
vitamin-A containing rice varieties into the hands of poor people.
> Curried rice is eaten by a lot of poor people, satisfying, perhaps
> trivially, their carotenoid deficit.
I don't think turmeric and cumin are significant sources of carotenoids.
> I predict that GMO golden rice will be more expensive, more prone
> to disease, and hence demand more pesticides and weedicides, than
> good old fashioned lo-tech rice.
Duke has no basis to make this prediction.
> I would more conservatively recommend instead incorporation
> of a few leafy weeds into an herbed rice.
Again, people for various reasons do not eat enough vegetables. This
recommendation is not new, and it has not worked.
> Eat your Weedies....
This is a glib response to 124 million vitamin A deficient children. It is
not a bad recommendation, but I think it would be unethical to neglect a
genetic solution to the problem. Don't you think that we should do both?
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