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The Future of Food

In 2001, writes Brian Thomas at spiked-online, worldwide plantings of genetically enhanced crops were up a whopping 19 percent. Thomas directs research at Horticulture Research International in Great Britain. “The environmental benefits,” he says, “are being realized in developed and developing countries alike, by both small- and large-scale farmers.”

This is good news indeed, especially for starving populations in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World. Just yesterday in Zambia, a crowd of over 6,000 villagers overpowered an armed guard and looted several tons of food-aid corn. Zambia’s dictator had ordered the food locked up, despite his people’s malnutrition, because of irrational fears of the genetically improved corn provided by the U.S. — the very same corn that Americans have been eating for years.

Looking toward the future, Thomas notes, “The world population is predicted to increase by 25 percent over the next 25 years.” And thanks to the biotech revolution, the amount of land we will use to feed these additional millions will hardly increase at all.

Still, neo-Luddite activists continue to demonize this technology, and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug thinks he knows why. “The needless confrontation of consumers against the use of transgenic crop technology,” Borlaug writes in the Wall Street Journal, “might have been avoided had more people received a better education in biological science.” Modern man’s lack of scientific understanding, Borlaug argues, “has resulted in a growing and worrisome ignorance.”

Speaking of Greenpeace, the global green monster has Australians in a tizzy over biotech ingredients in their groceries, with company after company caving in to activist demands and removing genetically improved foods from everything they sell.

A weekend organic food conference in Ontario underscored Greenpeace’s scientific illiteracy and anti-corporate focus, as organic-only-food activist Debbie Field warned the Guelph Mercury: “The fast-food corporate system is going to take over the world if we’re not careful.”

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