Environmental activists sometimes hurt those they intend to help

| September 18, 2014
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The religion of environmentalism … does everything it can to stop economic growth from happening. Preferring things to be more “natural” typically means restricting energy use, technological advancement and the progress of civilization itself.

Jon Entine, a senior fellow at the World Food Center at UC Davis, describes how much of the famine that has plagued Africa since the early 2000s could’ve been avoided if the affected countries had made use of available GMO seeds.

But environmentalists pressured governments in Europe (Africa’s main trading partner) to warn African countries that GMO use would mean reduced trade.

Entine notes that there are no nutritional or environmental differences between genetically modified crops and unmodified ones.

“A 29-year, billion-animal feed study showed zero impact of GMO crops on animal health,” says Entine. And GMO crops bring with them all sorts of benefits — they can bring greater nutritional value or make crops resistant to viruses.

As for organic crops, the “natural” ones that wealthy suburban moms favor, they require 20 percent to 40 percent more land to produce the same yield.

To go organic, Entine explains, “You have to clearcut more land to grow less food. You’ve used more tractors and consumed more carbon.”

Entine testified this week at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, where voices like his are in danger of being drowned out by environmentalist ideologues.

“There’s a hysteria created,” he says. But the “people who suffer most are poor. There will be 9 billion people on this planet by 2050 and organic farming alone would be a death wish.”

Read full original articleGreens v. the poor: It’s a movement of the ‘haves’

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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