The Wall Street Journal reports that certain varieties of Cheerios breakfast cereal will be produced using ingredients not produced from genetically improved crops. Like the craze a few years ago to replace high-fructose corn syrup with sucrose sugar (credible evidence suggests the two sweeteners affect the body identically), the move isn’t backed up by any science whatsoever and serves only to play to the misinformed prejudices of consumers.
The Journal cites an activist group called “GMO Inside” as hailing the developments. We did a little digging into the group, and found an example of some of the most shameless hypocrisy in which the environmental left engages. GMO Inside is a project of an outfit called “Green America,” which receives significant funding from the foundation associated with the Clif Bar company (which makes organic “energy foods” — remember, organic standards forbid knowing use of genetically improved crops).
In addition to being on the Big Organic take, Green America does its best to have the idea of scientific consensus both ways. On major scientific issues about which scientists are confident, national academies of sciences and other associations of scientists issue statements that endorse the shared assumptions that guide scientific work. (The philosophically minded might recognize this phenomenon as “normal science.”)
So, it would be right and proper for Green America to support a consensus position on human-caused climate change, since major scientific authorities such as the United States National Academies of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Royal Society of London, the World Health Organization, and the American Medical Association (among others) all express their support for that position. Unsurprisingly, since that consensus affirms the environmental left’s position, Green America affirms it, stating, “There is a nearly unanimous scientific consensus that our planet is warming beyond what natural cycles could produce.”
But what happens when those very same scientific consensus bodies endorse a scientific view that crosses Green America’s environmentalist agenda? Science loses. Indeed, the bodies named above all support the use and safety of genetically improved food crops. With the retraction of a suspiciously promoted French study that was characterized by one commentator as “weapons-grade junk science,” the only purported scientific suggestion that GMOs might be harmful has evaporated. But Green America continues to claim they are dangerous and must be labeled, despite AAAS finding that “Legally mandating such a label can only serve to mislead and falsely alarm consumers.”
It shouldn’t surprise us that environmental radicals like Green America rally behind science only when it suits them. Organic and non-GMO products are big business, and if Americans knew the truth about biotechnology’s benefits, that market might collapse. So scaremongering is big business, and scaremongers regard the consensus about as much as they regard 500,000 blind children suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, potentially preventable with genetically improved Golden Rice; namely, not at all.