Golden Rice Scandal Unfolds

Phase II clinical trials on children have been conducted with unapproved experimental GM rice enhanced in pro-Vitamin A that has the potential to cause birth defects and developmental abnormalities

More than 30 senior scientists and academics signed an open letter condemning researchers at Tufts University (Boston) in the United States for carrying out clinical trials of genetically modified (GM) ‘Golden Rice’ on children. The scientists claimed that the trials were in breach of the Nuremberg Code of Ethics brought in at the end of the Second World War to prevent any repetition of the experiments conducted by Nazi scientists including many on children.

The ‘Golden Rice’ in the trials (GR2) appears to be an experimental collection of transgenic events still in the laboratory, uncharacterised in terms of basic molecular genetics or biological and biochemical properties, not tested pre-clinically on animals, or subjected to any other safety assessment.