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UK: Yes To Biotech, No To Scaremongers

In Sunday’s London Times, genetics expert Charles Pasternak praises Britain’s decision to allow commercial farming of genetically enhanced corn. “For once the government has got it right,” he writes. “In sanctioning the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) maize, it is allowing fact finally to triumph over fantasy.” Of course, radical environmental groups have done a good job promoting the “fantasy” that GM foods are somehow unsafe. Pasternak compares those duped by biotech scaremongers to folks who once believed the earth is flat.

Fear campaigns against biotechnology are short on truth, ignoring the fact that millions all over the globe have been consuming biotech foods for a decade — with zero adverse health effects. Nevertheless, green zealots have vowed to fight and destroy biotechnology companies regardless of the truth, the facts, or any life-saving potential. Pasternak continues:

Organic farming is too expensive [in the Third World] and conventional farming produces too low a yield … Nowhere [is this technology] needed more than in sub-Saharan Africa, where 40,000 people — half of them children — are dying from malnutrition daily. We should be helping them by developing and promoting the relevant GM crops, not hindering their salvation by unjustified criticism of the technology.

The European Union has noted that biotech crops are likely “even safer than conventional plants and foods.” Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore now laments that his old comrades continue to “stymie progress on so many fronts when their arguments are nothing more than wild, scary speculation.” Nobel laureate and father of the “Green Revolution,” Norman Borlaug, has scolded “extremists in the environmental movement” for doing everything they can to thwart biotech progress.

Now that England has taken a sensible step forward, Parliament should keep an eye on hell-bent activist groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Extremists from these two organizations, along with other anti-biotech radicals, pledged to “remove GM crops from the ground or support those who take action to remove GM crops,” should they ever be planted in England. Unfortunately, this is no bluff. Greenpeace vandals have destroyed biotech crops in London before, and last year they sabotaged a GM wheat crop in Germany.

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