Vandana Shiva responsible for ‘irrational’ fears of GMOs, dismisses science that doesn’t suit ideology

| | September 5, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The person most responsible for cementing the GMO-suicide link in European minds is the environmentalist Vandana Shiva. She is given to statements like,“270,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since Monsanto entered the Indian seed market… It’s genocide.”

Responding to to Natasha Gilbert’s May 2013 article in Nature  which debunked the myth of GM crops causing farmer suicides, Shiva began by touting her qualifications as a “quantum physicist”.

The prevarication about her education becomes relevant because Shiva has consistently highlighted her physicist background as a source of scientific authority. It could be ignored if she actually followed anything approaching a scientific method. Instead, when confronted with all the data pointing to the safety of GM crops, and to the absence of any connection between GMOs and farmer suicide rates (see the chart in Natasha Gilbert’s article), she questions the sources of the data. Companies like Monsanto, she says, “control the entire scientific literature of the world.” The world’s most widely respected publications such as Nature, Science, and Scientific American, “have just become extensions of their propaganda. There is no independent science left in the world.”

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When it comes to the most pressing environmental issue of our time, which is undoubtedly climate change, environmentalists, Shiva included, take the scientific literature at face value, while right-wingers of all stripes argue anthropogenic global warming is a hoax perpetrated by compromised scientists.

When it comes to the safety of GMOs, on the other hand, Greens reject the scientific consensus out of hand. This is the central hypocrisy of several environmentalists: they tout the science when it suits their ideology, and dismiss it when it doesn’t.

Read the full, original article: Vandana Shiva is confusing ideology for science – and getting rational people to believe her

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