Recapping 2016: 10 ways anti-GMO activists put ideology ahead of science

| | January 5, 2017
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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.

When they said we would have to add an extra second to the clocks at the end of 2016, there seemed to have been a collective groan. The year that started with the death of David Bowie seemed to just keep getting worse. … There were more attacks on scientists and research institutions – environmental campaigners learnt they can throw out any gibberish on glyphosate, GMOs, endocrine disruption and neonicotinoids and get a microphone. … Reasonableness was nowhere to be found.

What happened in 2016 was that Stupid got out of control.

. . . .

Here are [some of] the Risk-Monger’s Top 10 Worst Moments of 2016: The Year of Stupid

Organic’s Rejection of NBTs

New Plant Breeding Techniques (NBTs) are a series of technologies (at least seven) for accelerated plant breeding, most not involving any genetic modification. … potentially enabling farmers to produce more with fewer pesticides. The NBT plants are often indistinguishable from conventional plants.

In 2016, IFOAM, the organic food industry lobby, declared that NBTs were to be considered the same as GMOs, condemning organic farmers to lower yields and higher applications of second rate organic pesticides. When an organic food researcher suggested that the lobby should reconsider this position, he was roundly attacked. …

. . . .

Argumentum ad hominem

Last July, when more than 100 Nobel laureates condemned Greenpeace’s position on GMOs as unscientific and potentially a crime against humanity, their response was textbook – these scientists are all a bunch of industry-paid shills.

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In 2016, activists did not have to respond to facts, evidence or logical argument; they just had to do a Google search to find evidence of a link in the last 50 years to an industry project. (A note of clarification: when the organic industry or an NGO funds the research, that is OK.) …

Glyphosate and Activist Cunning

…[T]he anti-glyphosate alliance has been fairly successful in blocking the glyphosate regulatory renewal in the EU, having it on the agenda at the EPA (despite the scientists) and creating all sorts of completely ridiculous fears … In 2016, glyphosate was a living case study in Stupid.

The Fake Monsanto Tribunal

Imagine 300 of the leading pro-organic gurus, zealots and activists, with a budget of half a million USD from the organic industry lobby, coming to The Hague to conduct a show trial to declare Monsanto guilty of ecocide. …

. . . .

…The event was a colossal waste of half a million dollars, generated little publicity, had a jury which failed to deliver the predetermined verdict as planned in December … all to be able to indict a company that will no longer exist by the end of 2017.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Risk-Monger’s Top 10 Worst Moments of 2016: The Year of Stupid!

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