OPINION


05-24-2013 

Mike Renzulli
The Case for Monsanto and GMO's  
 
Environmentalist Mark Lynas recently gave a public mea culpa after years of activism in opposition to Genetically Modified Organisms (aka GMOs or biotech foods). Lynas was one of the major figures in the anti-GMO movement that started in the mid-1990's. As a result of his efforts, numerous Third World countries were denied supplies of genetically modified foods in which imports of them were halted and research on them was held up. I commend him for his intellectual honesty and his willingness to publicly admit his mistakes while exposing the lies told about GMO products.

Biotech foods have been made a topic controversy for sometime and it has mainly been due to the efforts of environmentalists. Opponents mainly claim that GMO's are unsafe, won't solve the need for food in poor countries and/or don't increase the overall food supply. Back in 2002 Europe went so far as to ban the import of biotech foods based on many of these assertions which were based on fabrications if not outright lies.
 
All of the statements and others on the part of GMO opponents in opposition to biotech food products are baseless and without merit. In 1970 Norman Berlaug was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to fight world hunger. Berlaug developed different types of wheat that would be more resistant to disease coupled with high yield potential which included the ability to withstand poor growth conditions. This Green Revolution started by Berlaug has resulted in enabling third world countries to grow more food that have helped to stave off numerous famines.

Genetically modified foods are a result of Norman Berlag's accomplishments. Since environmentalists oppose technological advances to the point of religious fervor eco-whackos resort to smear, intimidation, and misrepresentation tactics. Thanks to anti-GMO efforts, when Europe and other African countries banned their importation it resulted in mass starvation of population segments of poor countries. Worst part about it, some libertarians actually agree with the environmentalists by joining in anti-bio-technological food protests rationalizing their doing so as being a way to halt their Platonic concept of crony capitalism.

Not only are biotech foods helping to feed the poor, there are advancements in genetic engineering for human beings too. New biotech-related medications are out on the market that can help treat leukemia, congestive heart failure, and a host of other illnesses. This also includes not only hundreds of new medications but also advancements in vaccines to help fight the spread of disease. Germ-line research has resulted in the detection and removal of bad genes in humans that result in hereditary diseases while accomplishments from stem-cell research can help replace damaged tissues and organs. Extremists behind the smear campaigns against GMO's and companies that produce them (such as Monsanto) along with their anti-genetic engineering efforts in medicine (such as the anti-vaccine movement) are literally killing hundreds of thousands of people with their words and actions.

Opponents of biotechnology (be they environmentalists or religionists) think that it is immoral if not outright evil for mankind to bend nature in order to live. As such their opposition demonstrates their overall contempt for human life despite their claims to the contrary. As far as biotech foods are concerned, fortunately, Mark Lynas had the guts to admit his mistake and now seeks to refute his former colleagues. I certainly hope that his public admission and apology not only helps blunt opposition to genetically engineered foods and other bio tech products, but Lynas' example inspires others to follow his lead.