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Musical icon Neil Young’s new album takes a loud stand in support of the environmental lobby movement against genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Like most liberal causes, the emotion-based reasoning for protesting the production of GMO’s sounds good in the abstract, but when put to practice, has very harmful unintended consequences.
The New York Post opinion contributor Owen Paterson writes:
According to Rolling Stone, listeners will hear Young sing this gem: “I love to start my day off without helping Monsanto/ Monsanto, let our farmers grow what they want to grow/ From the fields of Nebraska from the banks of the Ohio/ Farmers won’t be free to grow what they want to grow/ If corporate control takes over the American farm/ with fascist politicians and chemical giants walking arm in arm.”
The aging songwriter is following the lead of activists who claim that GMOs are harmful to health, farmers and the environment.
This is tragically wrong. In reality, GMOs can save millions of lives. It’s the environmentalists who are doing real harm.
GMO’s provide nutritional supplements to people living in areas of poverty.
The best example of this is Golden Rice, a miracle grain enhanced with Vitamin A-producing beta-carotene. Developed 15 years ago, it was considered a breakthrough in bio-fortified technology. Today, 6,000 children will die from Vitamin A deficiency. Each year, 500,000 people, mostly children, lose their sight; half of them will die within a year of becoming blind. That’s over 2 million children every year, all victims of Vitamin A deficiency.
Many of those lives could be saved if Golden Rice were in their diets. But the ongoing opposition of anti-GMO activist groups and their lavish scare campaign with its combined global war chest estimated to exceed $500 million a year have kept Golden Rice off the global market.
Neil Young’s thoughtless crusade against GMO foods is an important reminder that “environmentalism” is not always synonymous with “humanitarianism.”