“Sanctimonious greens” care more about being politically correct than helping the world eat well, The Yorkshire Post‘s Bill Carmichael charges. Biotech “has the potential of transforming the lives of millions by doing no less than ending world hunger,” he writes. “But many of these developments are unlikely to go ahead because of opposition from powerful green campaigners… Sanctimonious members of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have never known the sensation of an empty stomach, but they seek to deny genetic technology to the world’s poor because it offends against their refined sensibilities… What does it matter that children are dying in Africa so long as green campaigners can munch their organic, GMO-free muesli?”
Recent research shows “most Europeans aren’t concerned” about biotech, so the anti-technology zealots who oppose genetic improvement must force their position on them through drastic measures. The attacks on biotech continue, and sometimes they are quite literally attacks: Activists destroyed a field of experimental crops in Scotland last weekend, just days after “environmental activists broke into a 15-acre field in northern Belgium” in a similar assault.
Here in the U.S., the Organic Consumers Association, whose leader Ronnie Cummins once said “most consumers aren’t smart enough to know what they want,” recently rallied outside the Chicago Board of Trade seeking a ban on genetically improved corn. It’s just one part of the anti-corn movement. “The Campaign,” an anti-biotech outfit headed up by organic foods and natural products industry lobbyist Craig Winters, has been swamping the Department of Agriculture with messages calling on the government to “take action” against biotech corn.
But those who know that biotech products are “even safer than conventional plants and foods” (as the European Union officially declared), and that genetic improvement could become a “major lifesaver” (in the words of the director of the World Health Organization), are not letting the activists roll over them. They’ve launched their own web site at Corn-Comments.org, where visitors can tell the USDA the truth about the positive benefits of biotech.