العضويات المحورة وراثياً ووصمة العار

ستانفورد ــ في شهر أغسطس/آب، في المعهد الدولي لبحوث الأرز في الفلبين، قامت مجموعة من الناشطين بتخريب حقول اختبار ما يسمى "الأرز الذهبي" والذي خضع للهندسة الوراثية بحيث يحتوي على البيتا كاروتين الذي يشكل الأساس لفيتامين (أ). والواقع أن بعض الجناة كانوا مدعومين من قِبَل وكالة التعاون الإنمائي الدولية التابعة للحكومة السويدية عبر تمويل الجماعة الفيليبينية المتطرفة ماسيباج (شراكة الفلاحين والعلماء من أجل التنمية).

وبالنسبة للفقراء الذين يتألف أغلب نظامهم الغذائي من الأرز ــ مصدر السعرات الحرارية الغني بالكربوهيدرات ولكنه يفتقر إلى الفيتامينات ــ فإن السلالات "المحصنة بيولوجيا" لا تقدر بثمن. وفي البلدان النامية، يواجه 200 إلى 300 مليون طفل تحت سن المدرسة خطر نقص فيتامين (أ)، وهو ما من شأنه أن يهدد جهاز المناعة وأن يزيد من استعداد الجسم للإصابة بأمراض مثل الحصبة والإسهال. وفي كل عام يتسبب نقص فيتامين (أ) في إصابة نحو نصف مليون طفل بالعمى؛ يتوفى 70% منهم في غضون عام.

في سبتمبر/أيلول، بادرت مجموعة من العلماء البارزين إلى دعوة المجتمع العلمي إلى "الوقوف صفاً واحداً في المعارضة الشديدة للتدمير العنيف للاختبارات اللازمة لتقييم تطورات قيمة، مثل الأرز الذهبي، والتي لديها القدرة على إنقاذ الملايين من البشر من المعاناة والموت بلا داع". ولكن هذا النداء العاطفي يعجز عن معالجة مشكلة جوهرية: الفكرة التي لا تقوم على أي أساس بأن هناك فارقاً كبيراً بين "العضويات المحورة وراثيا" و"نظيراتها التقليدية".

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