October 15, 2003

Gates the Benefactor

Bill Gates has set aside $25 million dollars to fund nutrition infusions into food.

    WASHINGTON - A collaborative effort to get more nutritious food to the world's poor received a $25 million boost from a foundation set up by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates.

    HarvestPlus, an alliance of research institutions and agencies, will use the money for a four-year project on biofortification, which crossbreeds crops with high nutritional value and those that are high-yielding and disease resistant, the organization's director, Howarth Bouis, said Tuesday.

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said the goal of the initiative is to provide people in poor and developing countries with food already fortified with vitamins and mineral nutrients.

    Worldwide, "half the instances of death among children have malnutrition as important contributory causes," said Dr. David Fleming, director of the foundation's global health program.

    HarvestPlus offers a strategic approach that would address the problem of malnutrition, he said.

    The programs hopes to get improved varieties of crops to the world's farmers within a decade, Bouis said.

    The organization also will conduct research into more controversial genetically modified crops.

    "We're very convinced that this is where the breakthroughs will come in the future, but ... societies, themselves, have to decide whether they're going to be comfortable with genetically modified foods or not," said Joachim Voss, director general of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.
That's the whole article. And the controversy? Just wait. Introduce the words bacteria, genetic engineering, science, and plants into any one paragraph, and invariably out of same paragraph will manifest a conclusion : Frankenfood.


Posted by hln at October 15, 2003 12:46 PM | Health/Fitness/Nutrition | TrackBack

What does that evil, evil rich man think he's doing, trying to help people? Doesn't he know that's the government's job????? See what happens when you give the rich tax cuts!!!!!

Sorry. I read the words "Indy Media" over at Ted's. I need to go read John Hawkins now before the damage is permanent.

Posted by: Susie at October 15, 2003 01:31 PM

The EU and Africa (since it exports to the EU) are not accepting the technology and seed to make Vitamin A-enriched rice--beta carotene-enhanced "golden rice"--that helps prevents blindness and malnutrition because it's "genetically modified".

As if selective breeding by man over millenia isn't "genetic modification".

Numbers go from 500,000 children going blind every year from Vitamin A deficiency, and 2 billion people with Vitamin A deficiency.

And they won't even give golden rice a chance, won't even give people a chance to learn about it without hysterical overload.


Posted by: S at October 15, 2003 02:27 PM

Yep, it's the B word. "What, you're taking genes from BACTERIA?"

Doomed until minds open, sadly.


Posted by: hln at October 15, 2003 03:42 PM


There are lots of things I need more of and scientifically engineered food is one of them.

With my own rebel cry "I want more More MORE!"

Posted by: Trey Givens at October 15, 2003 06:27 PM

I am avoiding the Frankenfood until I get the glowing okra that will make me a superhero.

Posted by: Brian J. at October 15, 2003 08:36 PM

While I, like S, can see what the real issues are (undernourished kids), I read a newspaper or magazine article, that argued the amount of beta-carotene in the 'golden rice' was less then the optimum amount. It made me wonder if it was worth it. My personal dilemma is some beta-carotene vs no beta-carotene, but I'm not enough of a nutritionist (or doctor) to answer that question.

I do agree the Greens/EU/ELF movements are short-sighted beyond all belief, tho.

(I'll try to find the article, or another reference, if I can even remember if my source was print or otherwise.Feel free to take my little paragraph with a grain of non-engineered salt :) )

Posted by: Victor at October 18, 2003 06:26 AM