Dr. Patrick Moore, who co-founded Greenpeace in 1970, parted ways with the organization in 1986 due to philosophical differences. These differences could not be more clear, certainly with regard to GMOs, and especially Golden Rice. (It should be noted that Greenpeace is perhaps the most formidable opponent of Golden Rice.)
Dr. Moore, whose recent statement on the issue can be found on the Golden Rice Now Facebook page, drew exactly the kind of vicious attacks that you might expect (shill for Monsanto, etc), but he does not back down. Following are excerpts from his statement:
I have been a dedicated environmentalist and ecologist for 45 years, beginning my career as a co-founder of Greenpeace. Since leaving Greenpeace almost 30 years ago I have operated as an independent voice on climate change, energy, forestry, agriculture, and in particular today on Golden Rice.
It is my position that of all the scientifically baseless campaigns, anti-vaccination for example, the campaign against the use of genetic science in agriculture is the most baseless of all.
For many years, my opponents have claimed that I am a paid lobbyist for GMO seed companies, in particular Monsanto. This is a technique used to avoid debating the science that proves Golden Rice and GM foods are safe.
(The Monsanto reference arises from controversy over the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup), and how genetic modification of crops to make them resistant to glyphosate could allow farmers to use more of it.)
Lest you think this is a simple partisan political issue, think again:
I share his [Norman Borlaug s] belief that investment in enhanced biotechnology is an essential component of the solution to some of our planet s most pressing agricultural problems. President Obama, April 2014
"So we save money [by use of biotechnology] and we save the environment and we save lives. It is a virtuous circle. And through innovation, we believe we can help alleviate the level of hunger and malnutrition today, but more than that, we can, hopefully, live up to our responsibilities for the future. John Kerry, June 2013
I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record [regarding drought-resistant seeds]. There s a big gap between the facts and what the perceptions are. Hillary Clinton, July 2014
By widening the use of new high-yield bio-crops and unleashing the power of markets, we can dramatically increase agricultural productivity and feed more people across the continent. George W. Bush, May 2003