Headlines like these make me shudder and break my heart:
"Golden Rice trial vandalized in Philippines."
I don't understand it, and I don't think I ever will.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified rice that has been developed during the last 20 years. Through the use of careful science, they have been able to develop a rice that produces beta-carotene, which people convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency affects millions in the developing world, causing blindness and making people susceptible to other diseases.
In the Philippines alone, it is estimated that vitamin A deficiency affects as many as 1.7 million children, according to the World Health Organization. This variety of rice would provide half of an adult's vitamin A daily requirements in just one cup.
The hardest part of this story to swallow? The destruction didn't occur when the field was planted. It didn't occur when the crop was first growing. No, the cowards who decided that our world was better without this crop destroyed it just before it could be submitted for inspection to be approved.
Why would someone destroy research that was in the process of going through a safety check? My only conclusion is that they are afraid of the answers or, more importantly, afraid that the answer isn't what they want to hear.
Here's what else I've concluded about the terrorists: I'm guessing they've never experienced hunger - true hunger. Not I-don't-feel-like-going-to-the-kitchen hunger, but the I-haven't-eaten-in-days-and-don't-know-where-I-will-get-food hunger. Once you've reached that point, you generally don't go around destroying food sources. Period.
And for those who will throw around the idea that it's OK to destroy research, because genetically modified food isn't the way it was meant to be, well, I'm pretty certain that in the Good Book there isn't a chapter in Genesis about how Adam and Eve gave Abel powdered formula from a can when nothing else would keep him alive. But somehow we've moved from the apple in Eden to where we are today. Because of that, I have a little boy who is defying the odds and showing science a thing or two about statistics.
And that, my friends, is neither about strictly God or strictly science, it's an interwoven tale of how the two can exist, and why I believe completely in both.
No, we cannot blindly follow science and not tread lightly when it comes to advances and technology. But destroying research before the answers can be recorded? Yes, it truly makes my heart break.
Imagine, if you will, the public outrage if someone were to destroy a cancer research lab? What if researchers were steps away from finding the key to diabetes and someone came in and wiped out the progress? Hunger and malnourishment are just as real and just as deadly as cancer, and the answers are there, we just need to be willing to look for them.
And we can't be afraid of what we will find.
Val Wagner loves raising her four boys on the farm in Dickey County, along with her husband, Mark. Catch her blog, Wag'n Tales, at wagfarms.wordpress.com, or follow one of their cows on Twitter at Cows_Life. Contact her at email@example.com.