Thirteen years after Golden Rice was featured on the cover of Time magazine under the headline "This Rice Could Save a Million Kids a Year," biotech's golden child is back in the headlines. Just when public opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is at an all-time high, and the biotech and junk food industries are once again pouring millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat laws that would require labels on foods containing GMO ingredients.
Coincidence? Industry spokespeople say the suspiciously timed resurrection of Golden Rice in the news is not a public relations stunt aimed at converting GMO skeptics. But absent any new news on a crop that hasn't gained traction in more than a decade, the move looks more like an act of desperation than a legitimate defense of biotechnology.