For the first time since it established a moratorium on the approval of biotech crops in 1998, the European Union will allow a genetically enhanced food product to go on sale next month. The Luddites at Friends of the Earth (FoE) started complaining about this decision long before it was made. Unfortunately, groups like FoE and Greenpeace have pledged to break the law and vandalize these modern food crops.

A column in the Times of London takes FoE and Greenpeace to task for becoming “eco-fundamentalists, followers of a new kind of religion, to whom evidence is irrelevant.” Dick Taverne, whose upcoming book will be called The March of Unreason, writes:

Several scientists have received threatening letters, including a bomb threat, for taking a public stand in the GM debate. Crops have been vandalised. Farmers taking part in field trials have been terrorised. Indeed it is now clear that some anti-GM campaigners adopt the tactics of animal welfare terrorists who try to stop all animal experiments.

Most opponents of GM crops condemn violence, just as most anti-vivisectionists condemn animal rights terrorists. Violence stems, however, from passionate belief, which is blind to reason. While Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth may condemn violence (but not breaking the law to destroy crops), they reject reason, distort facts and ignore evidence.

Consider the testimony of Greenpeace to a House of Lords Committee on Genetic Modification in Agriculture. Lord Melchett, then director of Greenpeace, was asked: “Your opposition to the release of GMOs, that is an absolute and definite opposition … not one that is dependent on further scientific research?” He replied: “It is a permanent and definite and complete opposition.”

Click here to see our advertisement quoting a Greenpeace co-founder calling his old group “a band of scientific illiterates who use Gestapo tactics to silence people who wish to express their views in a civilized forum.”