On Wednesday morning, an ad hoc organization called Allow Golden Rice Now! organized a grassroots demonstration against Greenpeace s fear- and agenda-based opposition, right outside the group s HQ in Toronto. The protest was led by Dr. Patrick Moore, who back in the 1980s was an original member of the organization, but became intensely and publicly disenchanted with its ever-more-strident anti-science agenda about a decade ago.
The protesters point out that the public-domain golden rice has the potential to markedly reduce the consequences of malnutrition in the Third World related to vitamin A deficiency. A lack of this vitamin causes visual impairment, including blindness, and immune system dysfunctions leading to numerous infectious diseases, and is linked to the premature deaths of a half-million children each year: approximately 8 million dead since Golden Rice was first developed and ran into the regulatory dead end provoked by Greenpeace s crusades against it.
Dr. Moore, speaking for the group, had this to say: The zero-tolerance policy towards Genetic Modification by Greenpeace and its allies has blocked this cure, resulting in 8 million deaths, mostly among poor children. We believe this is a crime against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court. ACSH has covered this tragic story numerous times over the recent past, e.g.: Hope for malnourished kids threatened by anti-GMO zealots.
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross added, Greenpeace has also been in the forefront of many anti-science, anti-progress, anti-human crusades in the past. They are dogged opponents of using DDT to fight malaria, and the list goes on and on. I have to agree with Dr. Moore when he accuses the group of crimes against humanity that in fact seems to be their entire raison d etre.