I used to scoff at how Ayn Rand turned the word "humanitarian" in the Fountainhead into a term of derision. I didn't think it was justified to assume anyone adopting the humanitarian title had to be evil. Surely, for example, Andrew Carnegie with his philanthropy and opposition to war could be considered a positive humanitarian?
But maybe she was on to something. At least as far as Greenpeace is concerned:
According to the World Health Organization between 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind. Millions of other people suffer from various debilitating conditions due to the lack of this essential nutrient.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified form of rice that, unlike conventional rice, contains beta-Carotene in the rice kernel. Beta-Carotene is converted to vitamin A in humans and is important for eyesight, the immune system, and general good health. Swiss scientist and humanitarian Dr. Ingo Potrykus and his colleagues developed Golden Rice in 1998. It has been demonstrated in numerous studies that golden rice can eliminate vitamin A deficiency.
Greenpeace and its allies have successfully blocked the introduction of golden rice for over a decade, claiming it may have “environmental and health risks” without ever elaborating on what those risks might be. After years of effort the Golden Rice Humanitarian Project, led by Dr. Potrykus, The Rockefeller Foundation and others were unable to break through the political opposition to golden rice that was generated directly by Greenpeace and its followers.
To their credit, Bill and Melinda Gates are giving it another try.