Greenpeace has said it plans to oppose field trials of golden rice, a genetically modified rice variety enriched with vitamin A.

Greenpeace had previously said that it would not attack trials planned in The Philippines, but has now indicated that it will treat the rice like any other GM organism.

Developers of the rice say that the crop could alleviate blindness and diet deficiencies in developing countries.

"Although we do not have any immediate plans to take direct action against 'golden rice' field trials, we reserve the right to take direct, non-violent actions against any releases of GMOs into the environment," said Benedikt Haerlin, Greenpeace international co-ordinator. "The fundamental environmental safety issues remain unresolved for golden rice just as for any other genetically modified organisms."

Haerlin repeated comments he made at a speech in Lyon last month where he stated that the rice would not be effective in combating blindness and malnutrition in the Third World.

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