|Why Greenpeace is Wrong about GMOs and Golden Rice|
Greenpeace has led a global campaign to mislead consumers about GMOs and Golden Rice.|
Greenpeace and their allies have claimed falsely that GMOS are dangerous, untested and inadequately regulated. But the science telling us GM crops and foods are safe has been confirmed by vast experience. Humans have eaten hundreds of billions of GM based meals in the past 20 years without a single case of any problems resulting from GM. More than a hundred billion livestock animals ate GM feed from 1996 through 2011, during which the average health of livestock animals improved.
As we have shown elsewhere, we know that GMOS are at least as safe as crops produced with other breeding methods. The only time a safety difference has been found the GMOs have been safer.
GMOs are extensively tested and subjected to a higher degree of regulatory review than any other crops and foods. The US regulatory system is described here and the European approach here. Biotech regulatory regimes in other countries around the world can be found described here.
Greenpeace have also claimed that Golden Rice would not work; that it would not deliver enough vitamin A to be effective, or that it would produce so much as to be dangerous. All these claims are false.
Greenpeace have so severely and repeatedly misrepresented facts and distorted policy deliberations that their extensive misrepresentations have provoked India into revoking their license to operate due to "fraud", although this order has now been put on hold.
This follows official sanctions for their dishonest propaganda campaigns in Australia and Canada.
While Greenpeace have led the fact-challenged propaganda campaign against innovations in agricultural biotechnology, others driven by dogma rather than data have also been active. Some from the organic community have decided biotechnology innovations threaten their business model (for example, by taking the Bt pesticide widely used by organic growers and making it accessible to conventional farmers by incorporating it into the seeds of corn and cotton to help repel pests in a way that is safe for humans and better for the environment).
Organic marketers have spent huge amounts of money driving a fear based campaign to disparage other forms of production. But "you can't fool all of the people all of the time".
One of the more energetic opponents of biotechnology innovations in agricultural has been Maharishi acolyte Jeffrey Smith. He has self-published a number of books claiming "GM" foods are unsafe, traveling around the world lecturing on the topic. But his claims have been examined, tested against the scientific literature and shown, without exception, to be not only unsupported, but contradicted by the data. Similarly fact challenged claims are frequently made by others, including Consumers Union in the United States. These, too, have been examined and found to be contradicted by reality.
One company has even filed suit against Greenpeace for "defamation, racketeering, conspiracy and other alleged offenses" in Canada and in the United States in a long-running case that has received scant media coverage. The company claims Greenpeace "...has published staged photos and video falsely purporting to show Resolute logging in prohibited areas and others purporting to show forest areas impacted by Resolute harvesting when the areas depicted were actually impacted by fire or other natural causes" and filed the suit "under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law, meaning if successful it could result in treble damages." The lawsuit further alleges "Greenpeace and others working with it have aggressively targeted Resolute's customers with extortive threats and other illegal conduct. To identify those customers, Greenpeace employees and agents have impersonated Resolute employees, its customers, and others to illegally misappropriate proprietary customer and supply chain information.