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Sir Richard John Roberts

Sir Richard John Roberts is an English biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. He currently works at New England Biolabs.

 

Conference title: “The Nobel Laureate campaign for GMOs”

Abstract:

When Monsanto first tried to introduce GMO seeds into Europe there was a backlash by the Green parties and their political allies, who feared that American agro-business was about to take over their food supply. Thus began a massive campaign not against the true target, Monsanto and the large agro-businesses, but rather against the surrogate target, GMOs. This has had disastrous consequences for one of the most promising technologies ever developed for improving food supplies. I am spearheading a campaign by the Nobel Laureates to counter the damage that is being done to the poor people in this world – notably in the developing countries – by Greenpeace and their allies who have deliberately ignored the science that underpins GMOs and have been painting horrific pictures of the dangers that might ensue. I will use Golden Rice as a clear example of the costs of these shortsighted policies. Millions of children have died or suffered developmental impairment because of a lack of Vitamin A in their diet.  Golden Rice could reverse this, but has become a target of the Green parties because it is a GMO. This is foolish and dangerous. How many more children must die before this is considered a crime against humanity? I will argue that the Pope and the major religious organizations in this world could play a pivotal role in countering the pseudoscience being propagated by the so-called green parties and make a real difference to the lives of the poor in this world.


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