Economist editorial: ‘Green” anti-GMO activists are like ‘climate deniers’

Image via Chicago Tribune.
Image via Chicago Tribune.

The Economist has come out with a stinging editorial [article access requires free registration], “Fields of Beaten Gold,” attacking the green movement for what it says is its unscientific support for the anti-GMO movement, which the editors say is anti-science.

“Greens say climate change deniers are unscientific and dangerous. So are greens who oppose GM crops,” the editors wrote. They argue that Europe needs to adopt a more science-based view of this critically beneficial technology:

America takes little notice of this nonsense. But green groups in Europe, with the support of influential figures such as Prince Charles, have succeeded in shaping policy. Governments have hedged genetic research around with so many restrictions that much of the business has fled a continent that could be doing more than most to feed the world. Some developing countries—Kenya, India and others—have turned their backs on technologies that could literally save their peoples’ lives. And European governments spend taxpayers’ money financing groups encouraging them to do so. The group in the Philippines that trashed the rice trials, MASIPAG, gets money from the Swedish government. On moral, economic and environmental grounds, this must stop. In the field of climate change, environmentalists insist that the scientific consensus should frame policy. They should follow that principle with GM crops, and abandon a campaign that impoverishes people and the rest of the planet.

The Economist editorial picks up on a theme first highlighted by journalist Keith Kloor in Slate a year ago, when he was one of the first to link anti-technology enviro activists on the left with climate change deniers on the right, writing: “when it came to biotechnology, certain environmentalists and supposed food safety advocates acted similar to those who denied the scientific consensus on global warming.”

Writing over the weekend in his Discover blog, Kloor doesn’t think that the “mainstream greens” will be able to stay silent on this issue for much longer. The blog touched off a fascinating to and fro by various commentators over whether its fair or illuminating to equate anti-GMO climate change denial activism.

Read the full, original story: Genetically modified crops: Fields of Beaten Gold

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