Despite dire predictions of doom and gloom from the likes of Greenpeace, the Center for Food Safety, and the Organic Consumers Association, American farmers planted 18% more biotech seed this year than in 2000. Fully 68% of all soybeans planted in the U.S. in 2001 contained a “Roundup Ready” gene, which allows farmers to spray pesticides without damaging their crops. This genetic improvement has also resulted in less soil erosion and a lower volume of overall pesticide spraying. As the environmentalists in the above-named groups should agree (but typically dispute), these results are truly good for planet earth.
Perhaps more importantly, they are good for the millions of undernourished people in developing countries. Florence Wambugu, Kenya’s leading agricultural scientist, tells the Reuters news service that “there is not a shred of evidence that eating genetically modified food will be bad for anyone’s health.” In her new book Modifying Africa, Wambugu tells it like it is, pointing out the “campaign of misinformation on the part of Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups, which have become adept at playing on the media’s appetite for controversy, to draw attention to their case.”