Some British officials admit they’re “terrified” to counter the baseless attacks of radical environmental organizations that negatively affect public perception of genetically modified (GM) foods. They say these groups’ concerted efforts actually keep countless millions on the brink of starvation, and that this is no time to be tip-toeing around the green fringe.

Greenpeace is the best-known anti-biotech group that scares British politicians silly. Members of Parliament say there’s no appeasing the international environmental activist group, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that proves the safety of agricultural biotechnology.

Former British MP and government minister Lord Taverne told London’s Daily Mail yesterday that environmental groups’ opposition to biotech crops is “not rational,” and that they have made it more difficult for some nations to achieve agricultural sustainability and eliminate hunger:

They keep on saying that we must prove the technology is safe. There have been any number of reports.

Every single national academy of scientists in the world—the Mexican, the Indian, the Chinese, the American, the Brazilian, the Royal Society, the European Society have all examined this time after time after time and their conclusion is absolutely clear.

So far there is no evidence, despite 12 years of their growth and consumption, of harm to human health or harm to the environment.

Sadly, it’s quite possible that no level of scientific certainty will ever change the Greenpeace mindset. Patrick Moore, an early Greenpeace leader with an ecology Ph.D., tells the Vancouver Sun that his former group has “a policy of ‘zero-tolerance’ for GM crops.” (Moore left Greenpeace and later described the group as “a band of scientific illiterates who use Gestapo tactics.”)

Greenpeace’s refusal to even acknowledge the promise that biotechnology holds for helping impoverished nations feed themselves speaks volumes: The same activists who will risk their lives scaling skyscrapers and harassing fishermen, just to make the evening news, remain unconcerned about saving human beings from starvation.

The early Greenpeacers, like Patrick Moore, meant well when they founded an organization with a “vision of a green and peaceful future.” It’s sad that this future doesn’t seem to have a place for roughly 1 billion people in the Third World.