Opponents of genetically enhanced crops in England have begun a pledge drive whose signatories vow to “remove GM crops from the ground or support those who take action to remove GM crops.” Some news accounts speculate that the campaign could garner tens of thousands of signatures and inspire “civil unrest.” Lets hope none of those signatures belong to Britons who travel to Africa or elsewhere in the Third World, where biotech crops might hold the key to feeding millions of starving people. In this case, as usual, the anti-biotech zealots are so busy scoring PR points that they seem to have forgotten the real-world impact of their scaremongering.

Luddite activists from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (FoE) — exactly the two groups one would expect to support this kind of criminal activity — have already signed on. Greenpeace has a rich history of attacking biotech crops, but the involvement of FoE (which receives financial support from the Dutch and Swiss governments) is more interesting. The crop-destruction pledge campaign is run from a house in Oxford, which is rented out to environmental groups by something called the Ethical Property Company. And one of the four directors of this for-profit outfit is the current chairman of Friends of the Earth UK.

An anti-capitalist group called Corporate Watch is based in that same Oxford house. Its motto is an open invitation for violence against people: “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” A recent article in the trade rag for environmental saboteurs, the Earth First! Journal, began: “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed by corporations such as the biotechnology industries, and the people who are killing it have names and addresses.”