The dark side of the anti-GMO movement


Each year in Third World countries, millions of children go blind or die from the lack of Vitamin A. Wouldn’t it be great if scientists could come up with an easy solution to this human disaster? Well, they did.

Professor Ingo Potrykus of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Peter Beyer of the University of Freiburg in Germany found a solution. They created something called Golden Rice. It is rice genetically modified to produce higher amounts of vitamin A.

Given that rice is a staple in Asia and elsewhere, this was an easy way to help poor children get the nutrients they need. This beneficial creation didn’t go unnoticed by the anti-GMO/Organic activists and they wasted no time in attacking it. They have spread all kinds of unfounded rumors and lies about Golden Rice.

When MIT researchers conducted a trial with children in China, not to determine if they rice was safe, (it is) but to see if the rice did indeed deliver adequate amounts of Vitamin A, Greenpeace launched a propaganda campaign, accusing the researchers all kinds of ethical violations and using the kids, unwittingly as guinea pigs. They made such a racket that the Chinese Government freaked out and fired the Chinese researchers involved and paid compensation to families.

Greenpeace and others have continued their assault, holding up approval of this modern life saving measure. In the meantime, millions of kids are going blind and dying.  It is unconscionable and cruel, but that’s what the anti-GMO movement has become.

Greenpeace, a $300 million a year enterprise, full of well-fed, healthy, sighted westerners is advocating denying a life saving measure to poor children because their worldview disagrees with GMOs. It’s grotesque. There should be some way to haul them into the European Court of Human Rights.  That may sound like hyperbole, but considering they are campaigning to thwart life saving measures for millions of children, they should be held accountable.

But they aren’t the only ones waging a murderous campaign. Other groups and activists like Vandana Shiva also oppose saving children and starving people because the food may be GMO. As I wrote back in January,

Needless to say she hates GMOs.  This is where her rhetoric becomes dangerous. She hates them so much that she attacked OXFAM on their GMO stance when they were engaged in cyclone relief efforts in Orissa, a state on the southeast coast of India. She tried to persuade them to not supply GMO foods writing in an open letter that “We hope your food aid will be G.E. free.”  Shiva’s groupWomen for Diversity demanded the Indian government “immediately withdraw the corn-soya blend from Orissa.” Apparently it was better for people to starve rather than eat GMO food.

She hates “golden rice,” a non-commercially developed GMO rice with higher levels of Vitamin A which can prevent blindness in children. Millions of Third World children go blind each year due to lack of Vitamin A, yet Shiva would deny these children because GM is evil bad and golden rice is a“myth” and negates, “nature’s diverse gifts and women’s knowledge of how to use diversity to feed their children and families.” 

This descent into  cruelty can be traced back to 2002 in Zambia. At the time, the country faced food shortages and people were starving. The U.S sent food to help alleviate the disaster. Then, in waltzed foreign activist groups who convinced the Zambian Government that the food was “poison.” Zambia then warehoused all the food aid and refused to distribute it to their starving people.

The president of Zambia said today that his country, which is inching toward famine, would continue to refuse relief food that may be genetically modified, calling such food ”poison” and saying it is ”intrinsically dangerous.” ”I’m not prepared to accept that we should use our people as guinea pigs,” Mr. Mwanawasa said.

“Poison.”  “Dangerous.” “Guinea pigs.” Sound familiar?

The anti-GMO movement has decided the ends justify the means. They blatantly and without remorse, peddle dangerous nonsense.  When they aren’t peddling the imagined dangers of GMOs, they are vociferously defending and trying to rehabilitate the reputation of  the anti-GMO Gilles-Eric Seralini,  whose widely discredited RoundUp studies on rats was widely condemned by the scientific community.

In his quest to prove harm, he chose rats prone to tumors and allowed them to live longer than ethically acceptable in order to be able to show hideous pictures of rats with gigantic tumors. Science ethics experts, having seen the disturbing images could tell that Seralini had crossed ethical parameters in the use of animals in experiments.

A recent report by experts in medicine, pathology, food regulation and plant science found that Seralini’s study showed a “regrettable example of failures at multiple levels during the execution and communication of research.

The study appeared to sweep aside all known benchmarks of scientific good practice and, more importantly, to ignore the minimal standards of scientific and ethical conduct in particular concerning the humane treatment of experimental animals.

The report also says that there was an “abject failure” to “treat the experimental animals in a humane manner within standards of regulatory authorities, with the aim of “propagandising”.

The ends justify the means.

UPDATE:  At a recent Academia Europaea conference at Cambridge University, the co-inventor of Golden Rice said,

“If our society will not be able to “de-demonise” transgenic technology soon, history will hold it responsible for death and suffering of millions: people in the poor world, not in overfed and privileged Europe, the home of the anti-GMO hysteria.”

28 thoughts on “The dark side of the anti-GMO movement”

  1. “Poison.”  ”Dangerous.” “Guinea pigs.” Sound familiar?

    I know right like what bs that’s like when they said Bayer used to do human experiments on Jews during WWII. Why would a company that wants to make sick people better do human experiments and slave labor and murder? Bayer makes GMO food too so I don’t believe the bad press. Someone told me that because these companies sell health care products they use pollution to make ppl sick so they can sell more medicine!!! Can u believe that?? they even tried to say bayer was bigger polluter than oil industry ha

  2. Children suffering from malnourishment, AIDS and other maladies definitely do NOT need the addition of toxic chemicals and unnatural elements in their food supply or elsewhere in their environment–no matter how many engineered (and probably poisonous) vitamins they may contain.

    1. I guess we should just let them to die then instead of giving them a lifeline onto which to cling onto, so that we may treat any other maladies they may have, right?The arrogance of your statement astounds.

      1. Its comical that you keep trying to convince people that this crap is helping starving people. There is plenty of REAL food for these people.. The problem isn’t a lack of food, the problem is the lack of money.

        Why aren’t you writing about the over consumption and wastefulness of Western countries that could help these other undeserved areas? The amount of food our restaurants throw out alone could feed a massive population. Playing God in a lab isn’t helping anyone but the companies selling the seeds. I don’t know how you sleep at night. You make me sick.

      2. “Playing God in a lab isn’t helping anyone but the companies selling the seeds. I don’t know how you sleep at night. You make me sick.”

        So much stupidity and hypocrisy in this froth-mouthed rant I don’t even know where to begin.

    2. Are you actually serious? It is absolutely nauseating to hear the well-fed and well nourished attempt to deny the starving GMO foods.
      Worrying about ‘toxic additives’ in our food is the very definition of a first world problem. If you knew what it was to live in absolute poverty, to helplessly watch your children starving to death – perhaps then you’d have a sense of perspective.
      If all Greenpeace wanted was to ensure that GMO products were properly tested for safety – well that’s fine – I’m sure all of us would agree. But Greenpeaces have co-ordinated campaigns to destroy GMO crops that are being grown for the sole purpose of safety testing. They say GMO crops aren’t properly safety tested – and then attempt to sabotage attempts to safety test them.

      1. People that are poor are going to starve regardless of GMOs in the US we have GMO up the wazoo and prices are still high, and millions of children are still going to bed hungry. Besides GMOs were developed to make money not feed the world, these companies don’t have the motivation or drive to feed the world. And why should poor people be forced to eat GMO while you eat your organics?

        1. There are universities and others working on traits that could be beneficial, like the golden rice I mentioned. There is an easy way to get children the nutrient they need and it wasn’t developed by big biz and yet they fight against it. No supply chain or transportation problems. It’s right there in a daily staple.

          Read my post “Thinking beyond Argumentum ad Monsantum”

          As to my eating organic? You got the wrong guy, fella. I avoid organic as much as possible.

      1. We aren’t even Guiney pigs cause the people spraying the pesticides do not care about anybody. All about money. You can’t believe spraying Roundup on millions of acres of soy, corn and many other crops and then boxing it up in our premade foods/groceries is safe do you.

  3. Grow them Organic rice. Not poison rice. What a pathetic attempt at trying to trick people. GMO produces LESS yield NOT more. It DEPLETES the soil and makes it worthless to grow anything nutritious. This lie that GMOs feed the hungry is ridiculous! GMOs have been poisoning our foods since the 90’s.. right about the time gut cancers and Autism sky rocketed.. yet there are still so many hungry people. How can this be?

    Also, last time I checked most other countries BANNED and refuse to accept any USA GMO import crop. I’m pretty sure we are the fattest country on Earth, and we are SCREAMING that we DO NOT want your GMO food! So how is forcing Americans.. the supposed richest fattest country in the world to eat GMO foods helping feed the hungry??

    Ahh, that’s right.. it isn’t! It’s just making the rich get richer and the poor get sicker, so that they can pay the drug companies to stay well enough to work long enough to pay their taxes so that the rich can afford their organic food.

    Maybe next time you can write about what it is like to write articles for evil companies that pay you off?

    1. Funny how you can’t back up a single claim you make, and thus must fall into the, “Any information that disagrees with has been bought by TEH KORPORASHUNZ!!111” ad hominem.

  4. As a farmer I know from experience that yields from organically grown crops are about 30% less than from crops grown with the aid of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Of course one wants to minimize the use of these inputs so as to keep the cost of food down. However, if all farmers globally were to convert to organic farming, as the anti-GMO crowd demands, world food output would shrink and the cost of food would escalate sharply. Hardly the outcome that we want?

  5. Actually, the outcome we want is organic food available to all. Just as farms in America are subsidized to keep prices down, the same can be true all over the world. If we need to make nutritious food AFFORDABLE for people, then that simply needs to become a priority. Along with AFFORDABLE health care for all. There’s no question that we have the resources available to make both happen, if we simply put our resources into our people instead of the military industrial complex. Not brain surgery. Just hard for the greedy to understand.

  6. people who are against GMOs don’t get that every food we eat is a GMO because over a few thousand years, we have selectively bred and grown edible plants and animals from their natural form. dogs are GMOs because they were selectively bred wolves. just because it wasn’t done with a micro-pipette doesn’t meal that their genes have not been modified somehow. dogs are 99% wolves ( or jackal, etc.) but because of that 1%, they are technically GMOs. the only difference is that now science allows us to be faster, more efficient, more creative.

  7. These people are starving because they are poor, they don’t need gmo corn or rice they need money to buy real food. Funny how people with money never starve.

    1. Funny how people with money never starve? Really? Is it funny how people who get off their butt and work and produce and contribute can make money so they are able to be self sufficient and eat? I don’t call that funny at all. I call it economics 101. We should help our fellow human beings, absolutely. How do you plan to help, other than call upon people ‘with money’ to take care of it?

  8. “As to my eating organic? You got the wrong guy, fella. I avoid organic as much as possible”. If this is true Bernie you need to tell us how you benefit from eating GMO’s.

  9. The more I read about this idiocy, the more I am inclined to think that the anti-GMO crowd are desperately hoping that they can prevent the Green Revolution from feeding the Third World, because they are at least dimly aware that if the Third World ever gets its act together one of the first things it will do is collectively kick their First World Lilly White Behinds O.U.T.

  10. If the anti-GM crowd already have a solution for the hungry and the blind…ummm…what’s the hold up? I don’t see them running around with free offerings from their basket full of organic Vitamin A, no..I just see them with inflated prices. Are they hoping to hitch a ride with the good scientist and his bag full of real help? Well… their in luck, because the good scientist understands it will be a combined effort to feed the world.

  11. Unfriggin’ believable seeing some of these comments. Here, thanks to science, and some good people, making a real effort, we have a real shot at ending some human misery and suffering by getting some rice genetically engineered with a higher level of vitamin A to them, it will not be a cure all, it won’t make up for lack of good balanced meals with protein or fresh green vegetables – – but at least it would be a START. So then what happens? We get all these WACKOS with some kind of zany theories that the rice is poisonous, does it make any sense that anyone would want to poison anyone that’s already got one foot in the grave, children losing their eyesight and their LIVES from lack of nutrition and vitamin A. Then it’s gets even weirder as the ‘organic’ buzzword is bandied about, first of all why someone wants to pay $3 for a green bell pepper because it’s ‘organic’ still stumps the hell out of me, I think a standard green bell pepper in the ‘normal’ produce aisle 2 for $1 works just fine for me and I’ll take my chances and rinse it with cold water. Then, for the coup de grace we got the leftards blabbering a bunch of their usual inane garbage that everyone should reduce their national defense to take care of people that can’t even figure out how to grow a garden or catch a fish or get rid of a dictator, that probably don’t like us or want our help anyway, and that all of this suffering is the fault of ‘greedy’ people and somehow food needs to magically be made plentiful and affordable (all over the planet?), and how healthcare should be affordable for the people that are dying from famine and don’t even own a pair of shoes. This is totally WACKY beyond belief !!!!!! Good Grief Charlie Brown!!!!!! Seriously people!!!! SERIOUSLY ???????

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