On 8 August 2013, vandals destroyed a Philippine “Golden Rice” field trial. Officials and staff of the Philippine Department of Agriculture that conduct rice tests for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) had gathered for a peaceful dialogue. They were taken by surprise when protesters invaded the compound, overwhelmed police and village security, and trampled the rice. Billed as an uprising of farmers, the destruction was actually carried out by protesters trucked in overnight in a dozen jeepneys.
The global scientific community has condemned the wanton destruction of these field trials, gathering thousands of supporting signatures in a matter of days.* If ever there was a clear-cut cause for outrage, it is the concerted campaign by Greenpeace and other nongovernmental organizations, as well as by individuals, against Golden Rice.
The eleven signatories to this AAAS Science bulletin are at the top of every relevant field and academy:
Bruce Alberts is President Emeritus of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and former Editor-in-Chief of Science.
Roger Beachy is a Wolf Prize laureate; President Emeritus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO, USA; and former director of the U.S. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
David Baulcombe is a Wolf Prize laureate and Royal Society Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. He receives research funding from Syngenta and is a consultant for Syngenta.
Gunter Blobel is a Nobel laureate and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor at the Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.
Swapan Datta is Deputy Director General (Crop Science) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India; the Rash Behari Ghosh Chair Professor at Calcutta University, India; and a former scientist at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland, and at IRRI, Philippines.
Nina Fedoroff is a National Medal of Science laureate; a Distinguished Professor at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; an Evan Pugh Professor at Pennylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA; and former President of AAAS.
Donald Kennedy is President Emeritus of Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, and former Editor-in-Chief of Science.
Gurdev S. Khush is a World Food Prize laureate, Japan Prize laureate, and former scientist at IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines.
Jim Peacock is a former Chief Scientist of Australia and former Chief of the Division of Plant Industry at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Canberra, Australia.
Martin Rees is President Emeritus of the Royal Society, Fellow of Trinity College, and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Phillip Sharp is a Nobel laureate; an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; and President of AAAS.
Possibly they have just a bit more standing than Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, et al?