Independent: Environmentalism is Doing Humanity a 'Gross Disservice'

Britain's most 'green-conscious' newspaper, the Independent, has broken ranks on genetically modified (GM) foods, urging its environmentally hard-headed audience that they were doing humanity "a gross disservice" by standing in the way of GM foods thaat could alleviate starvation around the world.

The article comes four months after Breitbart London's executive editor James Delingpole wrote a similar though more robustly worded piece entitled, 'Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer, Ein Rice!' which noted the opposition to GM super-food 'Golden Rice'.

Delingpole noted: "What kind of nutcase would you have to be to oppose a miracle product which could save the lives of two million children every year and the eyesight of another half a million a year? A nutcase from Britain's leading organic charity, The Soil Association, of course." [...]

Golden Rice is rice that has been genetically modified to provide the Vitamin A sorely lacking in the diets of so many in the Third World. It has been described by one of its champions, Dr Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, as "one of the most cost-effective cures on a per capita basis in history." All the evidence suggests that it is safe, effective and much cheaper than any alternatives. Yet despite all this - and despite the fact that it is going to be grown nowhere near Britain - the Soil Association has still decided to take a stand against it. Why?"

In an editorial published earlier this week, the Independent said: "Scientific breakthroughs that promise the alleviation of some of humanity’s most pernicious ills are coming increasingly thick and fast as the white heat of biotechnology is applied to the curses of malnutrition and disease in the developing world...

"...if all goes to plan, a GM banana containing elevated levels of beta-carotene will be growing in Uganda by 2020 – banishing the scourge of vitamin A deficiency which condemns thousands of Ugandan children to blindness or an early grave each year.

"But experience suggests that is a big and dispiriting “if”. Similar promises were made more than a decade ago for golden rice, another GM creation which also locks vital pro-vitamin A into the grain that is a staple for 3.5 billion people. And yet how much golden rice was grown commercially last year to combat a nutritional deficit which kills up to 700,000 children worldwide every year? The answer is zero.

"Much of the blame for his sorry state of affairs must be laid at the door of the anti-GM lobby, which persists in the argument that all genetically altered organisms are a violation of the natural order which will inevitably turn against their human creators.

"Environmentalism is doing itself – and humanity – a gross disservice with its blanket opposition to GM. By 2050, there are predicted to be 9.5 billion people on the planet and food production must double to feed them. We need to grasp all tools to meet that challenge and not discard one of the most promising on the shaky grounds of dogma."


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