With the activist-driven effort to “label GMOs” heading to the nation’s capital, we’re warning Congressional staff (and their bosses) to make decisions based on sound science, not activist fear-mongering. In today’s Roll Call—one of the newspapers about Capitol Hill, for Capitol Hill—we’re running the above advertisement.
There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that genetically improved foods (GIF) are safe. Activist groups such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Green America/GMO Inside, and Food and Water Watch are happy to cite certain scientific authorities on climate change consensus, but conveniently disregard the same groups when it comes to anti-GIF scare campaigns.
The sad fact that our ad shows is that activists’ unscientific scare campaigns put children’s lives at risk—if not at home, definitely abroad. Promising efforts to develop drought-tolerant corn to reduce starvation and to bring fortified sorghum to market to reduce malnutrition are being stonewalled by Greenpeace and its allies.
The potential human cost of this neo-Luddite campaign is worth consideration. According to the World Health Organization, up to a half-million children go blind every year from Vitamin A deficiency, which could be alleviated with foods fortified through genetic improvement (like Golden Rice in Asia or the fortified sorghum in Africa). Half of the blinded children die after a year.
As the world’s population increases we will need to employ all our tools to reduce hunger. It’s time for Greenpeace, EWG, and their allies to respect science and get out of the way of progress.