Molecular biologist Henry Miller makes the case for GMOs over at Project Syndicate, and green science-haters are going to fight it tooth and nail. Miller points out that not only are the global poor hurt by restrictions on research that could make crops more productive, but even at the most basic level the distinction between GMOs and “natural” foods doesn’t make sense:
A half-century of “wide cross” hybridizations, which involve the movement of genes from one species or genus to another, has given rise to plants – including everyday varieties of corn, oats, pumpkin, wheat, black currants, tomatoes, and potatoes – that do not and could not exist in nature. Indeed, with the exception of wild berries, wild game, wild mushrooms, and fish and shellfish, virtually everything in North American and European diets has been genetically improved in some way.
The important fact here is the blatant hypocrisy: when they’ve got scientific evidence on their side, green campaigners spew hate speech about the evil science deniers on the other side. But the moment a scientific consensus attacks some cherished green myth (organic good, GMO bad, for example), they spew hate speech against scientists as corporate shills. There is no intellectual honesty or consistency in this attitude; the one constant is anger and contempt for those who challenge the tenets of green faith.What the planet and the people who live on it badly need is a pro-environment, pro-people movement that actually cares about scientific evidence. Unfortunately that’s not what we’ve got—and climate change activists again need to come to terms with the reality that cloudy green thinking and downright hypocrisy is a leading cause of climate skepticism.