Farm Press Associate Editor Chris Bennett wrote a nice blog on golden rice, which may soon be widely planted in the Philippines and Bangladesh. When it happens, it will be the first step in a great humanitarian achievement of preventing blindness in as many as 500,000 children annually by providing vitamin A in their daily rice diet.
Miami Herald columnist Glenn Garvin also wrote about golden rice in a recent commentary, focusing on the “Luddite shock troops of progressivism like Greenpeace” which hide behind environmentalist monikers to the detriment of millions of people. He says this movement is coming from the “left wing.”
“What role does science plays in the left-wing opposition to golden rice and other genetically modified crops? None. Study after study has shown no detectable deleterious effects on human health from genetically modified food.
“Every time some Republican nut from Hooterville makes a jackass statement about rape or evolution, it’s immediately ascribed as a doctrinal belief of the entire GOP and conservatives in general. But liberal resistance to science is far more organized, far more destructive and far less covered in the media.”
Garvin points that this blitzkrieg against science from the left is one reason American parents are afraid to have their children vaccinated against whooping cough and measles. He points out that it started with an “error-ridden tirade” in Rolling Stone by Robert Kennedy Jr. and the left-wing website Salon linking vaccines to autism. Salon later published a retraction. In his 2008 campaign, President Obama shared his suspicion that autism and vaccines were linked. This, according to Garvin, led to a shortage of flu vaccine in the winter of 2009.
Nuclear power is another topic the left shock troops have attacked, despite no scientific evidence to support the negative blitz. The result has been virtually no nuclear power plants built in the U.S. due to this misinformation campaign from the likes of Greenpeace.
But scientific consensus, invoked like clockwork whenever lefty activists and their journalist friends talk about global warming, is “mysteriously irrelevant” when the left is discussing nuclear power or genetically enhanced crops. Garvin points out that in 2005, the International Council for Science, a coalition of 140 scientific organizations, reviewed 50 studies and declared flatly “Currently available genetically modified foods are safe to eat.”
“There are a few million dead Third World kids who wish that somebody had listened,” Garvin concluded.
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