Paranoia about GMOs more harmful than rejecting evolution

| | June 19, 2015

This year is the tenth anniversary of a book called The Republican War on Science. I could just as easily write a book called The Democratic War on Science.

The conflict conservatives have with science is mostly caused by religion. Some religious conservatives reject evolution, and some oppose stem cell research.

But neither belief has a big impact on our day-to-day lives. Species continue to evolve regardless of what conservatives believe, and if conservatives ban government funding of stem cell research, private investors will continue the work.

By contrast, the left's bad ideas about science do more harm.

Many on the left—including a few of my fellow libertarians—are paranoid about genetically modified organisms. These are crops that have DNA altered to make them grow faster or be more pest-resistant. The left calls that "playing with nature" and worries that eating GMO food will cause infertility, premature aging and a host of other problems.

The fear makes little scientific sense. There is no reason to think that precise changes in a plant's genes are more dangerous than, say, the cross-breeding of corn done by American Indians centuries ago or a new type of tomato arising in someone's organic garden. Nature makes wilder and more unpredictable changes in plant DNA all the time.

Yet the left's fear of GMOs led activists to destroy fields of experimental crops in Europe and, most tragically, bans on GMO foods that might help prevent hunger and malnutrition in African and Asian nations.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Left's Bad Ideas About Science Are More Harmful Than the Right's

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